Did the war return between Persia and Byzantium?
Did the war return between Persia and Byzantium?
Originally published in Arabic
On August 09 2006
Translated by Mohammad Dandan
In this article, we are still pondering over the ongoing war in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Iran on the one side, and Israel and America on the other. We think it will revive the ancient struggle between the Persian Khosrauite Empire and the byzantine Roman Empire. A struggle that persisted until the Arab Muslims appeared on the global historical scene, bringing down the Eastern Persian Empire, shattering the Western Byzantine Empire, reducing it to a mere head in its capital with no suitable body to match.
It may sound as a strange deduction, but we ask of the reader to be patient with us until the end.
In the previous article, we described the conflict between Iran and America as a conflict over (Gas) meaning petroleum. And that Iran considers itself the real power broker in petroleum rich areas in the Gulf and Iraq, and that this region contains most of the world’s oil reserves, meaning power in the future will be in the hands of whoever controls the last oil well in this region. And without this petroleum, its reserves diminishing by the day, no vehicle will move, and no machine will turn. It is the wheel that the world’s civilization runs on, and whoever controls this wheel, from today, controls the future.
In future articles, we might broach the subject of the nature of contemporary war in this century, which America did not grasp yet, and the role of America’s war in Iraq in bringing the world to the end of America’s unilateral supremacy and the formation of new centers of power worldwide, not bi-polar like it used to be, but multi-polar with varying alliances, yet the confrontation is set between Iran and America.
And without going in many details, this war in this century gives Iran strong factors enabling her to face and still defeat America. This in itself answers the surprise of those who wonder about Iran being a counterpart in a military confrontation with America renewing the ancient Persian-Byzantine conflict.
Let us imagine a struggle between a Dinosaur and a Bee. A Dinosaur is as big as a skyscraper, conceited with his muscles and strength, but the size of his brain is less than one over one million the size of his body. He walks on earth, shakes everything about him, but can not see what is under his feet. The Bee, on the other hand is smart and agile, it has antennae that helps in identifying earth, air and water, it understands the battle field completely, and more importantly, understands the extent of the Dinosaur strength, and uses it against him. The fight starts between them, the bee stings him, he rages destroying every and all things in his path trying to catch the bee with its claws, and the bee swerves and maneuvers avoiding him, it stings him in his eye, unable to see he flails aimlessly trying to catch her, it buzzes next to his ear, he gets more outraged, falls in a deep gorge, beaten with tons of rocks and dirt falling on top of him, meanwhile ,the smart clever bee flies out of the dust victorious.
Rules of engagement in this age make of Iran the smart, clever and naughty bee. And if the American administration insists on dealing with other using its muscles, the end will be like that of the Dinosaur.
Let us remember that the Dinosaur during his time was THE super power, land, air and sea. His era ended and another came on the scene that he did not understand or adjust to accordingly. It was the age of the Mammals. Little mice ate his eggs, those little naughty conniving mammals, he failed to see and exterminate, yet it was those mammals that finished him off, turning him into fossils.
Dinosaur’s fossils are the most important in the American natural history museums, but the American Administration did not take heed of the Dinosaur’s fate and history, and that is the real issue for the current American Administration in dealing with the Muslims and the Middle East. It does not understand history and fails to benefit from its lessons. The word History in the American culture denotes something that died finished and has no use any more. When an American describes something or someone with “He is history” , he means it died, finished and does not exist any more. But in the culture of Arabs and Muslims it is exactly the opposite. For the historical “thing” and the historical person and whoever is mentioned in a historical context, is the more alive in the consciousness of people, even among artist (consider when a firmly established singer talks about his ARTISTIC history, or when FIFI ABDU, the virtuous lady of belly dance, brags about the history of her high-bred style of belly-dancing which extends over half a century.
Problems in the Middle East specifically, have its roots embedded historically, religiously, sectarian and denominational. You cannot deal with it without understanding the historical underpinning. The Middle East is where divine messages were sent and where human civilization started, from there human history branched off, and today is the petroleum energy storage bin for humanity, and hence the arena for warfare in this century.
America enters this arena with its muscle only, regarding Middle East history as non-existent and a dead past. The American giant is a mere newborn; he is less than three centuries old, so how will he fair compared to a village or a city in Egypt, Syria, Iraq or Iran?
In short, the Iranian Bee is familiar with its land and its history, matter of fact; its history is the essence of its Shiite religion. To Iran, history is sacred; its rituals are part of its daily and yearly life, it practices it in place and in time, in mosques and in religious sanctuaries, during the festival of A’asuhra and the rest of feasts and religious festivities. But for the American Dinosaur, he is repeating the same mistakes of Vietnam. He does not take heed of the fall of his archenemy- The former Dinosaur – The Soviet Union in the same caves of Afghanistan, the same Afghanistan whose mountains cradle Al-Qaeda now, where it wages a war of ideas against America. The essence of this war is religion and history. The American Administration is fighting back this war of ideas with military muscles; somebody please tell me, can the world’s missiles, all of it, chase religious ideas? And the American Administration occupies Iraq, putting itself right next to the bee hive, subjecting itself to its stings. And now, this naughty shrewd bee forces the American Giant to plunge into an unknown in the Iraqi quagmire, every time he tries to pull out, he sinks deeper, still heeding no advice nor learning from his mistakes, clinging to his error. So the naughty shrewd bee pulls him, along with Israel, to the Lebanese quagmire, which is more dangerous and complicated, and it could well be the last gorge for the new world order.
I hope by simplifying matters like this, the reader will recognize that Iran is on equal par, in a new war that Iran knows well about it, while America is well ignorant about it.
Here comes the second question, as long as we are in the Middle East and its effective vibrant historical roots, is there any resemblance between the current war between Iran and America and the ancient war between Persia and Byzantium?
I say yes…and we briefly give some indicators.
The Iranian system presently, politically, culturally, Shiite-wise is the closest to the Khosrauite system. The same theocracy and the Shiite Twelvers in Iran is an honest repetition of old pre-Islamic Persian doctrines except with Arabic, Islamic symbols and names
America is the closest to Rome in terms of its political system and its representatives of congressmen and senators and with its defeat and fall, then the transfer of seat of power to the Byzantine Roman State in Constantinople, the similarity still exist in the form of Christian culture within the Neo conservatives of the Republican administration and the adherence to Christianity by the Byzantines.
The Persians and the Byzantines were feuding with one another to control the Middle East, and that is what is taking place now between Iran and America, this conflict will get more intense in the near future.
Sometimes the war between these two super powers would take place directly .The clashes were primarily enacted with in the sphere of influence in Syria, Iraq and Asia Minor. And if the direct clashes between Iran and America were to take place nowadays, the same region, add to it the Gulf would be the theater of operations.
Other times the war would be conducted by proxy. One camp aligned with Persia, the other with Byzantium .After the collapse of Ma’reb Dam in Yemen, most of Qahtani Arabs (Southern Arabs who basically dwelt in Yemen and Oman areas) migrated northward, some went to southern Iraq, The Manazera among them, managed to establish a satellite Emirate loyal to the Persians in Al-Hera, whereas their cousins, The Ghasaasena, migrated to southern Syria and established their satellite Emirate loyal to the Byzantines. The cousins often fought one another on behalf of their respective masters. This is approximately what is going on in Lebanon today. The Arabs and the children of Israel are Semite, they are cousins, and both descended from Abraham (PBUH), and they are fighting in proxy for Iran and America. Do not say America is pro Israel; instead say America is pro oil. Israel her is a vassal of America and will understand in the future, may after it is too late, that she is the loser in this alliance, and we might return to this particular point later on.
The reader might wonder, why Iran? Why don’t we say the Arabs are in the forefront? And Iran is helping them against Israel and America?
My reply is: in this region, the real states are only two; Iran and Egypt. Anything besides and in between is temporary. Many states appeared and disappeared in the past, and the same will happen in the future, but Iran and Egypt will remain. It is possible for Egypt, or for Iran to be occupied or removed from the sphere of influence, but both will remain genuine states. It is possible that the one might take advantage of the other’s weakness in the shadow of eternal competition between both, this competition might flourish and be evident some times, and wither and be hidden others, but ever-present despite those cycles of strength and weakness. This is a historical fact, to be discussed in detail on another occasion.
Egypt and Iran together are the pillars of the Middle East, what lies in-between (Syria, Iraq, Arabian Peninsula and gulf area) are mere geographical regions, where temporary states erupt and then vanish, owing to world power struggle, when both are weak, and a sphere of influence and point of contention for both when strong.
Due to this competition, they were at odds in political, religious and sectarian directions. It applies to the roles of being Shiite and Sunnite here and there. For when Egypt was Shiite under the Fatimid Rule, Iran was under a Sunnite system. And when Egypt returned to the fold of Sunnite sphere, a Shiite regime appeared in Iran very fanatical about Shah Ismaa’eel A-ssefwi. And when Egypt assumed the role of leadership for Pan Arab nationalism, the Shah was reveling in his Persian pride and the Iranian peacock throne. When Egypt joined the Soviet sphere of influence, the Shah was the greatest ally for America and the genuine loyal friend to Israel. And when Sadat joined the American camp and reconciled with Israel, there came Khomeini Iran to consider America to be the Great Satan, and to celebrate the assassination of Sadat, who welcomed the Shah when no body else would.
Under Hosni Mubarak, Egypt tendered its resignation from any effective role. And by its retreat to secondary roles, (others) who mounted Egypt’s shoulders, bosses of Pan Arab Nationalism, sectarian Sunnism in those transitory temporary states in Iraq, North Africa and Arabian Peninsula, those others tried to fill the Egyptian Vacuum and lead what is known as the Arab world, they failed, and because of them, the Arabs failed too. Pan –Arab Nationalism died, Saddam walked in its funeral procession when he invaded Kuwait, Qaddafi read its eulogy when he turned to Africa. There is no existence for Arabs or Pan Arab Nationalism without an effective dynamic Egypt.
Without Egypt, the coast was clear for Iran to spread its hegemony over the Arabs and the Middle East, and in order for her to have a role in the future; Iran has to control the oil reserves of the Middle East before America exhausts it. This oil will be in the future the essence of life.
With the Egyptian absence, America and Israel exercise control over the Middle East. They both are the obstacle in her effort to control the Arabs. By confronting America and Israel, Iranian leadership is materialized, not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world, all within new war criteria perfected by the Iranian Bee and ignored by the American Dinosaur
A reader might wonder; what about the Muslim Umma (the whole body of Muslims)?
Why don’t we say ,the Muslim Umma, is in the forefront , and Muslim Iran assists its Muslim Umma against the Jews and the Christians?
Quranic Truths, Historical Truths and Truths in today’s Iraq and the realities we are living in, all negates what is referred to as Muslim Umma. Yes, there are Shiite nations, with varying Shiite denominations, agree amongst themselves in fundamental concepts, but differ in secondary issues. And there are Sunni nations that will never agree to mend relations with the Shiite nations. The war between the two sets of nations, started with the beginning of Arab conquest, and it has been going on ever since. Some of those landmark battles constitute the basis for the Shiite faith, like Karbala and Aashura. Anyone reading the history of the Abbasid era during the medieval ages will get acquainted with how much the Shiites in Al-Kerekh in Baghdad suffered at the hands of the Sunnites for centuries, the serial story of the Shiite suffering is still going on since the medieval times till now. The animosity between the extremists of both factions by far exceeds the animosity towards America and Israel. All efforts of rapprochement among sects are nothing but gathering strength for another bout in a continuous long conflict and an attempt by one group to deceive the other.
These are painful truths we must admit to and recognize if we were seeking a true permanent solution. To jump over it with shiny, deceptive slogans, is a misleading practice that has to stop to save that innocent blood being shed every day in Iraq
There is no such thing as one Muslim nation. It is a fact. What is more painful of a fact, is that the dispersal of Shiite and Sunnite denominations, discordant, disharmonious, conflicting and clashing, all lack a strong coherent leadership and a cause that solidifies the masses against a common enemy. Adding another dimension to this dispersal is the possibility to attract another one from the non-Muslim world under the banner of “the dispossessed on Earth”…This world consists of masses brimming with discontent, looking and searching for a strong leader, emerging out of the womb of the unseen, riding a white horse to deliver them out of their misery, bringing them justice and comfort. They do not care if it was (Viva Zapata), Guevara, or the Awaited Mehdi (Savior). They do not care if it was Chaves or Hassan Nasrallah, as long as America is the Enemy.
Based on that, it is a golden opportunity for Shiite Iran to dominate the Muslims and the dispossessed in the world raising the slogan: Jihad Against The Arrogant On Earth, America and Israel. The biased American Policy coupled with Israel’s cruelty in attacking civilians in Palestine and Lebanon, gives Iran glad tidings of victory in the future, starting NOW. It is enough to consider that Al-Qaeda, the most ardent enemy of Shiite, extended its hand to Iran, which means that this war waged by America and Israel, against Lebanon and Palestine today, will enable Iran to lead a billion and a half Muslims, in addition to hundreds of millions of other in this small universal village, and confront the American Giant in their name.
The reader might still be wondering; if it is so…what is the historical connection between Iran and Persia on the one side, and America and Byzantium on the other? And how it is related to the world struggle between them?
To that, I respond: since the beginning of recorded history and the world is divided into two feuding camps, Eastern and Western. The military feud started with the western power represented by pharaoh’s Egypt under Remsis the 2nd and the Eastern power of the Hittite. It was then, that the first peace treaty in history took place. After that, the struggle between East and West continued, and the areas of conflict expanded to cover the whole Middle East.
In the last century, the Soviet Union burst on the scene facing America, and the arena of confrontation widened to include, in addition to the Middle East, other places like Latin America, Africa and Asia.
In an exceptional historical period, this middle ground area, the arena of military confrontation between the two warring powers, was able to rise and take hold of the reins of global conflict, representing one of the warring factions. This coup came about from a region; no one paid it any mind or attention, the Arabian Peninsula. After the passing of prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the Arabs surged out in a tremendous wave, fighting both superpowers at the same time, and in a very short record time completely obliterated the Persian super power, passing it by to reach central Asia, India and China eastward. And at the western front, they defeated the Byzantine might, laid siege to its capitol twice, and the Mediterranean became an Arab lake. They continued with their conquests till they reached southern France.
With these achievements, the Arabs came to represent the East facing Europe and the West. With these conquests, the Arabs acquired two enemies:
An external one, represented by Byzantine Roman Empire, the feud between them and the Umayyad then the Abbasid lasted until the arrival of the crusaders who occupied parts of Syria and Asia Minor. That was the Western enemy outside the boundaries.
The other enemy was from within. They were the sons of the firmly-rooted Persian Empire destroyed by the Arabs. Its people turned into (Mawali),in the newly formed Arab Empire, to serve as partisans and subjects of the fourth degree in the Umayyad era, those Persian partisans where the pillars of every revolt against the Umayyad, among them ,the creed of Shiites started to flourish, and within that sect , the Persian doctrines (of believing in two Gods, one representing what is good and light, and the other representing what is evil and dark), became part of the Shiite doctrine, known as (disavowing and clientage) , or devotion for and deifying of Ali Ben Abi Talib and his offspring, representing goodness and light, and hatred and damnation of Abu Bakr, Omar , Ossmaan and Mu’aaweya representing evil and darkness. And if you thought of who the gods of evil were in their culture, you will find them to be those who decimated and befell the Persian empire---Abu Bakr, Omar, Ossmaan, etc..
Then the Persian managed to bring down the Umayyad State, for they were the backbone of the Abbasid army led by (Abu Muslim Al-Khurasaani) , who held Persian tendencies and sentiments, so the Abbasid for his assassination , his followers revolted led by his daughter Fatima .the Persian rebellions against the Abbasid since, had always had connotations to revive Persian religions and doctrines, even with the presence of (Shu’oobeyya-The refusal to recognize a privileged position for Arabs within the state), which in essence was fanaticism for Persian nationalism, and the presence of various forms of Shiite expressions, the open, public, and the hidden secret. The Persian Shiites were able to form many states for themselves in Iran; the most important among them was the Safawi Dynasty, which because of it, Ismail Safawi murdered one million people, and fomented a feud between the two Sunnite states, the Memluk and the Ottoman, that ended with the downfall of the Memluk at the hands of the Ottoman in 1517.
At the end, came this current Persian Shiite state, a mixture of Persian nationalism and Persian Shiite religion. It came to renew in our times, the behavior of the Khosrau state and its struggle with the Western power that by coincidence happened to be America. Its feud with America will realize her goal in leadership of the East and in exploiting its resources. This feud appeared in a more suitable time for Iran, at the international level, when both America and Israel are suffering from the worst wave of hatred, and at the local level, by having Egypt removed from the regional equilibrium formula, and at the Arab level, by having the Arab League declaring the demise of the Arab brethren.
With no consolations to the full brother: Hosni Mubarak