Top Secret Report: Jews in Palestine








# Jeff 2011-06-02 14:22
Who was the proponent of this report? When was it written? (Sometime in the mid-1940s, I imagine).
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# Prufrock 2011-06-02 15:32
Quoting Jeff:
Who was the proponent of this report? When was it written? (Sometime in the mid-1940s, I imagine).

I note that the report cites oil production rates circa 1946.
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# Falk Kantor 2011-06-02 15:34
I don't understand what the purpose is of publishing this report, without any analysis or verification. What exactly are you implying or trying to accomplish?
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# David Quin 2011-06-02 15:54
I see someone already asked my question. Who wrote this report and for which agency? Interesting read to say the least but my impression is that it was written by someone not too sympathetic to the Jewish cause.
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# Anne Rutherford 2011-06-02 16:03
The report says the Arabs were tired of imperialism, they wanted their independence and then the U.N. gave away something that didn't belong to them. Now everything in this report came true.
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# petedcurtis 2011-06-02 16:21
Looks like a Internal UK Foreign Office report circa 1946-47. Nothing really revealing. Most of the news reports at the time reflected the same, but with a large dose of partiality favoring the Jewish people and the Jewish refugee boat people trying to land in Palestine. It shows UK long term awareness to some depth of the Arab feelings towards a creation of a Jewish State at the time and what could happen should it come about. Obviously the writing was on the wall for creation of Israel,this was really a foregone conclusion mainly due to the strong US influence and the very recent horror of the Nazi Holocaust targeting mostly the Jewish populations in Europe. I can only imagine most Jewish refugees did not or could not return home and sympathy for a Jewish state arose from that mass of misplaced people.
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# Tom Graham 2011-06-02 16:26
Quoting David Quin:
I see someone already asked my question. Who wrote this report and for which agency? Interesting read to say the least but my impression is that it was written by someone not too sympathetic to the Jewish cause.

Initially was an appendix to a Joint Intelligence Committee, "Intelligence Estimate of the Muslim Situation" (JIC 355/2) disseminated October 1, 1946. I agree, it wasn't too sympathetic to the Jewish cause. Tom G
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# Brooks Imperial 2011-06-02 16:33
This is an interesting risk assessment, and it would also be interesting to read the position papers that argued, persuasively as it turns out, against it.
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# Michael Yon 2011-06-02 16:34
The report came to me raw as is. I found it very interesting. It provides its own context. Anything more is out of context...
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# Don Pine 2011-06-02 16:43
The joint United States/United Kingdom "Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry" published its report on April 20, 1946. It contained a number of recommendations regarding Jewish immigration into Palestine. The appendix Michael has published was part of an assessment of what would happen if those recommendations were followed.
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# Jerry 2011-06-02 16:46
Some questions/observations:

1) I'm confused by some of the terminology. The report indicates that the Arabs would have been upset over "improper" implementation of the Palestine plan. What would have been a "proper" implementation of the plan?

2) The report goes on to say that the Arabs would have been happy had they been given "control" over the "settlement" of the Palestine issue. What would this control have entailed, and how would it have impacted the Jews then in Palestine?

3) The report gives the sense that the Arabs did not recognize any Jewish claim on the land whatsoever. Although it doesn't tease it out, it seems to me that the implications of this observation are as follows:
a) the Arabs thought the U.N. had no right to give away what belonged to the Arabs.
b) the Jews thought the Arabs had no right to prevent the return of what belonged to (and had been taken from) the Jews.
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# Cinnamon Stillwell 2011-06-02 17:01
I'm told that:

"JIC 355/2 was commissioned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and issued on 1 October 1946. It is located in the National Archives in RG 266, Records of the OSS, 1941-1945, Washington Director's Office Administrative Files, microfilm 1642, roll 24, 1015-1017. An extensive discussion of the document is found in Jeffrey Herf's book Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, pp. 245-247."
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# Nighthawk Nine 2011-06-02 17:06
Quoting Michael Yon:
The report came to me raw as is. I found it very interesting. It provides its own context. Anything more is out of context...

Mike, where are the "Markings" typically used by the USG or DoD? The Title, and each paragraph are supposed to be marked according to their classification. This would lead one to believe this is from possibly the DOS or another source.
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# Jacob Theodore 2011-06-02 17:09
So, what happened to the page with the copier-added annotation '0502'? It's nice that someone thought far enough ahead to have annotation added to copies made of classified documents, isn't it? I would certainly like to read the report to which this is an appendix.
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# Powzy 2011-06-02 17:20
JIC: Joint Intelligence Committee (United Kingdom)
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# Jacob Theodore 2011-06-02 17:39
Some additional links. I haven't cracked a way into the entire report (80 pages. ...yet. These have some abstracts, and some other items of possible interest. There seems to not be an open copy on the internet, other than purchasing it.
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# Jacob Theodore 2011-06-02 17:43
So, where is the page with the copier-added page annotation of '0502 '?
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-1 # Sherrill 2011-06-02 17:46
This is garbage. A plant by Arab interests to justify atrocities and sow discord. Much of the information is a mix of half truths from the pre 1948 UN partition of Palestine to more recent times.
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# Dale 2011-06-02 18:01
This report was written after WWII. I guess British and Americans thought they could manage world events and try prevent WWIII.

Also the report seems to read a bit Anti Semitic, but then many main stream (white) Christian people did hold a misplaced sense of "righteousness" over all other peoples.
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-1 # Norm 2011-06-02 18:29
What a waste of valuable time.
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# Jerry 2011-06-02 18:29
As far as it goes, this appendix represents a laudably serious attempt to engage the Arab perspective on the situation in Palestine. However, I'm curious that the appendix seems to have treated Arabs as a monolith, and to have accepted the then Arab leaders as its representatives . Perhaps this was justified, but the appendix might also have considered the possibility that the various non-democratic regimes in the Middle East were using the Palestine issue to divert attention from the problems of their own reigns. This was actually one of the first things that came to my mind, at least, when I read that the one thing the Hashemites, Saudi royal family and Egyptians could agree about was opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state in Israel.
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# The Pedant-General 2011-06-02 18:40
I would say this is definitely US for the following (non-exhaustive ) reasons:
- date format of declassificatio n stickers is US. We would post this as 20/9/90.
- The fact that you have this at all: there is no way that the UK Foreign Office would release a paper of this nature even now. We don't have the US culture of openness
- The discussion of British troop levels. The FO would not need to discuss in such vague terms: it would have been available to them directly, not as estimates.
- The discussion of US jewish voting intentions. We wouldn't have given a fig about that. ;-)
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# Bram Floria 2011-06-02 18:43
This was declassified 21 years ago? Why is this news?
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+1 # Ironargonaut 2011-06-02 19:41
Thanks Michael, this is interesting. While not "new news" people who wish to learn more of the situation and how it came about, will be informed, while some of the people who have choosen to put blinders on as to the historical reason why Arabs dislike Israel will surely deride and ignore it. As most Arabs like to point out, Jews and Muslims got along fine in the mideast until the formation of Israel. To bad the politicians of the day did not have some of the foresight of the author.
That being said nothing justifies the intentional killing of innocents from either side.
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# Charlie Griffith 2011-06-02 19:47
Added to this American Geezer's 20/20 hindsight, it indicates the absolute futility of any proposed American "outreach", "negotiations", "talks", etc., and confirms the Colonial origins of the present day impasse in the Middle East/Central Asian theatre.

With the basis of this long continuing standoff firmly rooted in Colonialism, it galls me that we Americans are expected to provide the bulk of the material means and youth to support anything other than open pipelines for oil.

The near total containment/iso lation of Islam is the only rational approach now in 2011.
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# Adam 2011-06-02 20:26
Yea, Jews and arabs got along fine, as long as the Jews knew their place. As for the historical reasons Arabs dislike Israel it's kind of easy to figure out, it's because they're Jews!
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# stan 2011-06-02 21:00
Adam, you are correct it is a fallacy that they ever got along, but who do the Arabs get along with, they are still angry about the Jews not accepting Islam.
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# GC 2011-06-02 21:11
So, with this supposed prescient document warning of coming conflict are we now supposed to say, Never mind, and sell out the only ally remaining, the only nation to have any regard for human rights in the region, the only nation that does not adopt an ideology that calls for the death or submission of all human beings to their archaic and barbaric beliefs which would exist with or without the presence of Israel?

The enemy is unreformed Islam and it should be condemned to the same dustbin that holds German National Socialism.
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# R.Carlson 2011-06-02 21:38
Since when is there a state of Palestine? It can be wished for all that people want, but until people accept that the Jewish people have a right to live on this earth and in the places that they now live,,,,,there will be no PEACE! go to pftv and look for the video:
How about a one state Israel.
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# Leonard Hartley 2011-06-02 21:42
It's an age old truth since revealed to Abraham that the land of Isreal belongs to the Jews. The followers of "Christ" and the hateful followers of the murdering, lying, thieving and child molesting prophet of Mecca have ventured in and out in plundering and trying to "occupy". Truth is God in these last days has brought the sons of Issac home and they will soon kneel to their messiah....Jesu s of Nazereth. Bless the blessed...Curse cursed of God. We can not leave him out.
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# R.Carlson 2011-06-02 21:44
ooopps! I meant: PJTV Andrew Klavan's How About a One State Solution for Israel. Thanks for watching. B
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# Ironargonaut 2011-06-02 21:48
have you ever talked with a Palestinian Christian? They are Arab and so are the Jews who were in what is now Israel before it was founded. This is not what they tell me.
So, since there are Arab Jews then by your logic they must hate themselves.
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# Jacob Theodore 2011-06-02 21:55
So, Sherrill, you and I both know that we never really get exiled from that business, even if all we do is watch from the sidelines and know how to read the signs,....and talk to old friends who have some collateral that helps us ferret out the true from the fictitious. Give yours a call, or drop them an email like I do. Callng on them with cold beer works best though.
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# Ironargonaut 2011-06-02 22:05
You should be confused you state many things that are not true.
First Israel exists. It ain't going away. So, the Arabs need to except that.
I disagree that Israel has regard for human rights. They have for many years tortured suspects legally. It was only recently that their supreme court outlawed torture except in extreme case of national security. Recently a Israel soldier pumped a little girl full of bullets, because she dropped her books within site of his outpost while walking to school. No discipline was taken. Where were her human rights? If the ideology is common Islam you are talking about you are again wrong. It is illegal to kill Jews or Christians in Islam. Whack jobs like Osama may think different, but the book directly contradicts them. It's kinda like judging Christianity based on David Koresh's beliefs. And, no Arab nation has adopted the ideology you claim.
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# Mark 2011-06-02 22:08
nothing to see here ... more of the same to try and justify radical hatred
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# Paul Garner, AF Ret 2011-06-02 22:19

The report was written between 1946 and 1948 when the first coinage was issued for the Palestine (Israel) state, and not later than Dec 1950 when Libya got its independence given to it under the leadership of King Idris I.

The language of the report plus the term 'TOP SECRET" indicate that the report was prepared by an American.

The control number indicates that it was the second copy of of the report.

Paul Garner, USAF (Ret)
aka The Old Sarge
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# Paul Garner, AF Ret 2011-06-02 22:49
Why was this published?

1. Michael found it interesting and shared this document with us. Thanks Mike!

2.The amount of knowledge in this network of Mikes is stunning.

3.The most noteworthy part of the report was the underestimation of the fighting ability of the Jews to fight and the over estimation of the fighting ability of the Arabs to fight the Jews. One exception was the Arab Legion which put up a commendable effort.

Thanks for publishing this Mike.

Paul Garner, USAF (Retired)
aka The Old Sarge
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# GC 2011-06-03 01:00
I won't bother to quote the verses knowing full well that you will claim 'context' while ignoring or remaining willfully ignorant of the history of Islam---- submit or die to put it in full concise context. Or, just look at current events where Christians are being raped and murdered just as in the good old days of its founding. People who care need to read the texts and history for themselves. Muhammed was a thief, murderer and slave rapist---- you may think it was all for Allah, but the facts are the facts.
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-1 # AS 2011-06-03 02:27
In 1939, before the start of WWII, the British closed off all Jewish immigration to Palestine (due to pressure from the Arabs) thereby closing off one of the main safe havens for pre-war Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. After the war, the British continued the immigration ban, and placed captured Jewish refugees in a refugee camp in Cyprus. The discussion in this "top secret" document revolves around what do with the refugees in Cyprus. The 100,000 number jives with what is written in the following link, and dates the document to 1946: According to link, "The report of the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry in January 1946 led U.S. president Harry Truman to pressure Britain into admitting 100,000 Jewish refugees into Palestine."
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# Jerry 2011-06-03 02:31
Often reports such as this have been so sanitized of specific national interests in the composition of such reports as to sound amorally cruel. As for the Arab interest in having control of settling the issue I would remind everyone that very early in WWII the Arab leaders fully endorsed and showed great interest in Hitler's "solution" to the Jewish problen.
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# AS 2011-06-03 02:43
Also, in response to one of the previous posts claiming that Jewish-Arabs were idyllic before the creation of Israel, Wikipedia has an interesting entry about the "Farhud", the anti-Jewish pogrom that took place in Baghdad in June 1941 (during WWII):
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# Spook 2011-06-03 03:05
Everything written in this supposed "Top Secret" document has been common knowledge for years and was used for the basis of the movie Exodus. The things stated in he report was why the British createda seperate state for the Jews.

Lybia was created by the Italians in 1934 by combining 3 seperate provinces.
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# Spook 2011-06-03 03:06
I have no idea why Mike would think this is something new but here are a few facts about the time and area.

Severe anti-Jewish violence erupted in Libya following the liberation of North Africa by Allied troops. From November 5 to November 7, 1945, more than 140 Jews (including 36 children) were killed and hundreds injured in a pogrom in Tripoli. Five synagogues in Tripoli and four in provincial towns were destroyed, and over 1,000 Jewish residences and commercial buildings were plundered in Tripoli alone.[15][16][ 17] In June 1948, anti-Jewish rioters in Libya killed another 12 Jews and destroyed 280 Jewish homes.[16] The fear and insecurity which arose from these anti-Jewish attacks and the founding of the state of Israel led many Jews to flee Libya. From 1948 to 1951, 30,972 Libyan Jews moved to Israel.[18] By 1970s, the rest of Libyan Jews (some 7,000) were evacuated to Italy.
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# gmiller 2011-06-03 03:43
It looks like a State Dept. authored or commissioned document. Definitely not pro-Zionist, but more even-handed than anything the Obama/Hillary people have done.
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# GC 2011-06-03 14:56
You are demonstrating abject ignorance on the subject. Christians in 'Palestine' are being chased out as we speak. Several Holy sites have been defaced with increasing frequency.
Race is not the issue-- both are Semitic and both claim the same patriarch by their tradition. Islam commands all followers to persuade all others to submit to the tenets of the faith either by conversion or subjugation--- or death. READ the Koran and the Hadith if you doubt me. Don't stop at the beginning accounts of Mohammed trying to 'gently' persuade the Christians and Jews. Read his instructions and actions against them when they rebuffed his efforts to convert. THAT is what we are living today and that is why there will never be peace in the ME until it is acknowledged in the West and Islam goes the way of its cousin Nazism.
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# Jake MacGregor 2011-06-03 15:25
mid level 'analysis' asked for by upper level to buttress pre-existing thinking against Zionists at State & 'other' (pre CIA, OSS waning) ... as stated above, I'd like to see the countervailing paper from the Jewish side

Mike's posting demonstrates how we (US & UK, et al) think we can move the pieces on the board sitting on the banks of the Potomac

here we are 60+ years later and the same tectonic plates are still rumbling

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# Michael Yon 2011-06-03 16:03
This was a fascinating read -- to say the least. Some equally fascinating comments. I agree with Jake MacGregor who sums it up with a single word: "hubris."
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# Brooks Imperial 2011-06-03 16:22
I don't think "hubris" sums it up. It's a most difficult problem scenario of global import and consequence, and with not obvious or easy answers available in real time. You can't Monday-morning- quarterback this thing. What the paper showed me was the degree to which the essential Islamic problem does not change much over lifetimes, however, that fact in no way alleviates the requirement for western nations to deal with it.
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# woodNfish 2011-06-03 16:33
This report is as useless as tits on a bull. It is obviously very old and out of date. Why it was ever top secret to begin with is probably because the government stamps everything top-secret, just because they can.
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# Jake MacGregor 2011-06-03 16:34
with respect Mr Brooks "Imperial' (excuse me, but Imperial says it all :>) )

otherwise, the notion is 'the natives do not understand the benefits of our colonizing them'

we, in the USA, rejected Colonialism in 1776 ... so to sit in Foggy Bottom, 150 years later (or now) and author top secret reports dispensing with millions of lives half a world away is

well, it is Hubris
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# Michael Yon 2011-06-03 16:52
Human dysfunction always seems highly complicated, when in fact it's very simple. It's dysfunction. The more complex relationships are the ones that work.
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# David Harreld 2011-06-03 17:32
It is interesting to note that this is the same "Judah" (which has merged with "Edom") that killed Christ two millinea ago. "Israel" is a misnomer for this nation, as Israel was dispersed into Assyria before Christ. Israel passed through the Caucasus mountains and settled Europe. Michael, people, you will be amazed to find out who Israel truly is, and who has usurped the name of this still-great nation. We still have brother fighting brother in Palestine. If you have the stomach for truth, here is a good read:
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# Bill Befort 2011-06-03 17:33
As noted by another commenter, there's nothing in this document that has not been common knowledge for decades. To present it with the "Top Secret" label, as if to say "Aha! At last we know!", is to invite misinterpretati on by readers with limited background in the subject matter.

More to the point is the outcome of the events it foreshadows, displayed in this current map from Freedom House: draft.pdf
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# Brooks Imperial 2011-06-03 17:43
Islamism may boil down to a simple epistemological error of cause and effect, or your term--dysfuncti on, but it is the most pernicious, long-lived, and self-reinforcin g error to arise in humanity's existence. And the subject paper shows that merely understanding it will not spare us its consequences. So what do you do? Thank God I'm not one who has to make that decision on a daily basis. Disparaging those with the duty to make those calls as hubristic is, in my view, not helpful. They're going to get some right and some wrong. We don't have the benefit of perfection that the Islamists claim to know.
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# British Interests 2011-06-03 17:52
This paper matches the opinions of Secretary of State George Marshall at the time. He was opposed to the 1948 UN partition plan. Truman eventually decided to vote in favor of partition (and recognition of Israel). I wonder if such papers determined Marshall's viewpoint, or vice versa.

As for the counter-argumen t, here are excerpts from the first chapter of "Counsel to the President", the memoirs of Clark Clifford with Richard Holbrooke, published in 1991:

In regards to Truman's 1948 decision, Clifford writes the following: "What would have happened if President Truman had not acted as he did? ... [T]he U.S. might have faced a far more difficult decision within a year: either offer the Israelis massive American military support, or risk watching the Arabs drive the Israelis into the sea."
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# Jake MacGregor 2011-06-03 18:01
the hubris was/is this:

NOT the individuals (though the label fits plenty I have met who author and instigate these)

No, the hubris the presumption of knowing where to draw the lines ... that is the 'whiskey tango foxtrot' presumption that begs HUBRIS

it falls to those of us that dine out of MRE boxes, live in Conex or Hesco FOB, and strive to keep the grit from destroying our weapons ... to those precious few fall the consequences

it is us few that come home in a box, that give the last full measure, or worse, are TBI/PTSD/amputees

someone in Foggy Bottom or Puzzle Palace with preconceived notions draws a line and our young men & women step out and pay the price
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# David Harreld 2011-06-03 18:10
A fascinating read:

This is brothers fighting brothers. Nothing at all like the mainstream christian "churches" have been preaching for the past hundred years or so. We have been sold a bill of goods. . .
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# Brooks Imperial 2011-06-03 18:26
Mr. MacGregor, with respect to the death and maiming that service people bear to carry out our country's political decisions, I'm sure you don't mean to say that grounds can never arise to justify taking those military risks and suffering those inevitable consequences. If, having been so engaged you have now become an isolationist, I can certainly understand your decision.
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# ironargonaut 2011-06-03 19:06
Christians in Israel are being chased out as we speak. Israel has ordered entire christian villages confiscated.
Question are you a Nazi? Since that is the tiltle of your post. You sure act like one.
I suggest you read up. Christians are being chased out by both sides. By the Jews because they are Arab and the Muslims because they think the christians collaberate with the Jews.
"Race is not the issue-- both are Semitic and both claim the same patriarch by their tradition" so then you agree with my comments to Adam?
If race is not he issue and Israel is "the only nation" in the region that does not call for death to all christians who won't submit. Please, explain of enlighten'd one, to one with such "abject ignorance" as myself, why there are still millions of christians alive in the ME.
It is you who is insisting that all followers of a religion be put to death or change. Hate not lest you become what you hate.
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# ironargonaut 2011-06-03 19:16
I could easily call Judiasm the same thing for many of the same reasons. In the Bible did not the Jews put every man, woman, and innocent baby to death in a city that would not submit to them? Christian are being raped and murdered in the US every also, what is you point? I know not why Muhammed did anything. Nor dor I really care. I will not convert not even at the point of a sword. But, I do know that many things in the world have changed since the Bible and the Koran were written and unlike you I will not selective use quotes of these to demonize entire religions and peoples.
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# Jake MacGregor 2011-06-03 19:21
last post on this: Mr Brooks Imperial, have you ever received a folded flag? washed the blood of a beloved friend off your hands? slept in the mud 12,000 miles away on Christmas? Grow up with only the photo of a Father on a mantle with a few medals in a case? The miracle is many of us have AND still, knowing what we know, still step up. We know that some stuffed shirt is pulling stuff out of his a$$ and we will pay the price, and we still go.

I'd pay to see you explain 'isolationism' to a Gunnery Sgt. Sir. And in fact, I'd pay your and my airfare to visit Mike in Afghanistan and watch you explain your views to Tribesman, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines. I need a good laugh as I live in constant and never ending pain with afore mentioned TBI & PTSD.

Always Faithful (Semper Fidelis)


PS ... You may be right, maybe I am an isolationist now. Maybe. That is, however, based on experience not academics. I'd still answer the call.
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# ironargonaut 2011-06-03 19:35
Quoting AS:
Also, in response to one of the previous posts claiming that Jewish-Arabs were idyllic before the creation of Israel, Wikipedia has an interesting entry about the "Farhud", the anti-Jewish pogrom that took place in Baghdad in June 1941 (during WWII):

I saw no post that claimed things were idyllic. Also, 1941 was after the British started to form Israel just wasn't called that.
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# AS 2011-06-03 19:49
Isolationism: pretending that we don't care about what happens outside our borders.
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# Brooks Imperial 2011-06-03 19:51
Listen Jake, the point is too valuable to leave with "Brooks is (fill in the blank)," though you are certainly free to fill in whatever blank you please. You admit that you would "answer the call" again. That's the point - there is a line that you have and will again step up to defend, and that line comes from a political process that none of us, as individuals, control. I greatly respect you for having that courage. You're right, I've never bet my life on that sort of thing and the best I can do is hope to understand the people who do, which is why I follow Mr. Yon's work. It seams the best we can do as humans, leaders, decision makers, and decision followers, is to react accordingly as reality becomes known to us. But there's no point in holding past decisions and decision makers accountable for things that were not known at the time of the decision. And all decisions at this level involve uncertainty and risk.
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# Brooks Imperial 2011-06-03 20:15
One more comment Jake, I don't think there is an academic case for isolationism. The several billion people in the world living in primitive conditions today need to participate with us to improve their conditions. Our isolation makes it a lot more difficult for them. They need to find ways to work with us in mutually beneficial arrangements to materially improve conditions in the third world. Isolation serves no one's long term interests. Imperial is my name, not my political philosophy. I'm a free trade guy - as Yon implied in a previous post - the ties that bind people together.
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# Robert I. Eachus 2011-06-04 14:06
As I see it, the only reason for reading this document is to see that the Arab-Israeli conflict is intractable, and has been since World War II.

On the subject of hubris, that is an invalid accusation. At the end of WWII, the Americas were in fairly good shape. Canada was trying to fit some new pieces in the jigsaw puzzle, and some South and Central American states were dealing with the loss of traditional foreign markets.

Europe was a mess, the 100,000 Jews discussed in this report were a small fraction of the displaced people the US (and British) military was trying to deal with while feeding and housing many of them on a temporary basis. Asia and the Pacific were not in much better shape, especially, of course, Japan.

With millions of people clamoring to go home to homes that no longer existed--and in some cases, hadn't existed for a hundred years or more, what do you do?

The best you can.
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# PNR 2011-06-07 15:48
It's not new, true. It's also not generally available - though it is, now.

It's an intriguing read and gives just a glimpse of the absolute political chaos that followed in the wake of the Allied victory in 1945. Spector (In the Ruins of Empire) covers a lot of this in regards the Far East. This points out some of the same problems in the Near.

Was it hubris? Not intentionally so, but culturally imbedded after 200 years of European colonial rule and the U.S. hesitantly trying to make sense of the political detritus left in our laps when it collapsed. We didn't want the mess, but we got it, and we tried to grant as much local autonomy as we could while containing the USSR and protecting our interests.

That it's still a mess isn't surprising, though.
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# AS 2011-06-07 16:11
The British took control of Palestine after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of WWI. In other words, we are talking about approx. 30 years of British rule between 1917 and 1945, which is nowhere near 200 years.
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# PNR 2011-06-07 16:28
Read it again... "200 years of European colonial rule" The use of the word "European" instead of "British" was quite deliberate.
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# AS 2011-06-07 16:38
The Ottoman Caliphate is not what most people think of when they hear the words "European colonial rule". In fact, reestablishment of a Caliphate is one of the objectives of the Taliban and el Qaida.
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# PNR 2011-06-07 16:50
True, the Ottoman Caliphate was not European. It had also ceased to be a significant factor in Egypt and North Africa by the time of the Napoleonic wars - the French, and subsequent British, treatment of Egypt and the Nile basin; the presence of English colonial outposts all along the route to India, all date to the late 18th century. German and Italian involvement begins almost as soon as those states were unified in the 1870s, but Dutch attempts to control the trade routes to Indonesia go back to the 17th century.

So, yes, "200 years of European colonial rule" is an accurate, if general, characterizatio n of what collapsed after World War II.
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# AS 2011-06-07 17:03
Prior to WWI, there was no British or French presence in Israel/Palestin e/Jordan/Syria/ Iraq. Those territories only fell under European control during WWI. Their borders were drawn up in 1916 under the Sykes–Picot Agreement. And in fact, the Balfour declaration was issued during WWI, not beforehand. So to say that there was a 200 year Western European colonial presence in Israel/Palestin e/Jordan/Syria/ Iraq is factually incorrect and misleading. The Suez canal and Algeria are different stories.
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# PNR 2011-06-07 17:51
You are misunderstandin g me. My comment was intended to be a broad, regional observation. It was not my intent to indicate that on date X, 1811, Europeans took over everything. The process was gradual and haphazard, beginning in the 1790s, reaching its apex in 1918, and collapsing in 1945.

On the details and dates of British direct control of the territories you outline, I make no dispute, nor was I unaware of them. But I was making a general, broad observation (hence the reference to Spector's book) and, as a general, broad observation, I stand by it.
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# Robert I. Eachus 2011-06-08 05:08
There was a time when discussion of "nation building" was in vogue at the State Department, the CIA, and elsewhere. Now that it is obviously a very hard task the term is an orphan.

But it is an important one. If you study history, and by that I don't mean memorize dates and winners of battles, but immerse yourself in documents written by the participants, there are three realities of nation building:

1) It is hard.
2) The loyalties of the dead don't matter, but the allegiance of the leaders must come to be to the new country.
3) Accidents, blunders, mistakes, and lucky events matter a lot. Eisenhower said it well--"In preparing for battle, plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." If you are not ready to deal with events as they unfold, you will lose. You might not win otherwise, but at least you have a chance.

At the moment, Iraq looks hopeful, but Afghanistan's chances look bleak, and Pakistan too close to call.
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# Tom Knott 2011-06-09 14:20
This is a UK document. As someone who was handling documents at this level not long after this one it has the layout and hallmarks of such a document. It was typed on an Imperial Typewriter.
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# Ariella 2011-06-10 12:59
This is definitely an American report (as can be seen by date order as well as context/languag e) and a very poor one at that.

First, the very premise of the report is wrong. The British did NOT support Zionism, they were virulently anti-Zionist. They wanted to retain influence over the politically weak Arab world; Zionism was explicitly against their interests. Prior to the British occupation, many Arab leaders including King Feisel of Syria/Iraq supported Jewish national interests.
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# Ariella 2011-06-10 13:01
The report also mid-identifies the role of Mufti Amin al-Husayni of Jeruslam, who it describes simply as being ‘not in power’. In fact the Mufti, an ardent Nazi supporter, had tremendous influence between 1921 and 1948, when he fled. As the British wanted to try him as a collaborator, the report’s implication that he could return to power is completely misleading.

And of course the report’s statement that the Jews could not withstand an Arab assault ‘in overwhelming numbers’ was proved otherwise when the nascent IDF repelled an Arab attack in which they were outnumbered six to one.
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# Ariella 2011-06-10 13:02
Michael, I greatly admire your work but this report is a fairly meaningless as well as inaccurate document barely worth the paper it’s printed on. The only reason I can think of for it being classified is its discussion of the Soviet Union with respect to the Arab-Israeli war. I’m sure that a reputable scholar of Arab/Israeli history would tell you the same (though it might be difficult to find one, the field is notoriously political and anti-Zionist).

For accurate information about the topics covered in the report and the Arab-Israeli conflict in general, some good sources are; Shmuel Katz, Battleground; Hillel Cohen, Army of Shadows; the IDF website; and the blogs and
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# Ariella 2011-06-10 13:34
That's completely untrue. There were massacres of Jews in Hebron in 192(as well as earlier massacres) which completely destroyed the Jewish community, Iraq (1941), Libya (1945), Syria (1947), and Yemen (1947) - and this is just in the first 50 years of the 20th century! There were even larger massacres in the 18th century and before. Jews were forced into ghettos in Algeria, Tunesia, Egypt, Libya, and Morocco and subject to discriminatory laws almost everywhere. They were barred from professions, denied access to courts, had property seized by the government for any or no reason, etc. Conditions in many nations were miserable.

For further information see virtualjewishli (Myths and Facts), the blog Point of No Return ( or just google "jews massacre middle east". And next time, please have some idea of what you're talking about before you post.
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# Ariella 2011-06-10 13:41
Ironargonaut, Can you tell us the "historical reason why Arabs dislike Israel" (I think you mean "Jews", as modern Israel has only been around for 63 years and Arabs have been around for centuries), or why people who have "put blinders on as to this historical reason...will surely deride and ignore" it?

It sounds like you have some ideas about why people do or perhaps should dislike Jews (sorry, I mean "Israelis"). What are those reasons, IA?
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# Ariella 2011-06-10 13:50
Either you're a complete liar or you're mentally ill, the form of your illness being anti-semitism. Tell us please the source of your fantasy that Israelis are confiscating' Christian villages(and no, the Electronic Intifada and Stormfront don't count).

Falsely accusing Jews of bad acts is called "anti-semitism" . And making up stories which falsely accuse others is called "lying".

By the way, the people you call "Arab Jews" do not consider themselves such and are usually offended by the suggestion.
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# Ariella 2011-06-10 14:04
Another lie about "killer" Jews harming 'Palestinian' Arabs.

I'll tell you something that isn't a lie, though. A few weeks ago two 'Palestinian' Arabs sneaked into a Jewish home, murdered two parents, stabbed a three and an eight-year-old to death, and decapitated a three-month old infant.

They said they were members of the 'Palestinian resistance". The next time you hear the word 'resistance' against Israelis, know that it means slaughter.

And it's ridiculous to claim that Islam prohibits killing Jews and Christians. The Koran and Hadiths state clearly that murdering Jews and Christian is a religious obligation. Think about the massacre of the Fogel family described above as well as the numerous massacres by Muslim (not just Arab)jihadists.

How can you make such ridiculous lies with a straight face. Do you think, like Hitler, that if you lie often enough people will start to believe you?
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# Violette 2011-06-11 11:31
Inexorablement. ..since a very long time !!
THIS IS daily News .
I like also Ariella's comments .
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# ironargonaut 2011-06-14 19:48
The last desperate act of a failed arguement is to call the other person crazy and racist.
I am the one who does not think we should kill people based on their religion and you call me mentally ill? Did you even notice I said BOTH sides are chasing out christians? What are the Electronic Intifada and Stormfornt?
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# ironargonaut 2011-06-14 20:00
You can find nothing good about another people?
So if what I said is a lie how come the Jewish media report it?
To follow your previous "logic", you lied about me and I am a christian, therefore your are anti-christian.
You arguement is about resistance is flawed, because one could claim it was normal criminals. You should use the example of the terrorist who took a rubber raft from Lebanon to get around the border snuck into a town murdered mother and her babies. When he was returned in an exchange Hamas and other terroris orgs welcomed him as a hero. Resistances don't reward the murder of innocents. Oops, was I supposed to use a different example, so you could argue higher body count on one side vs. the other. Intentionally killing innocents is wrong. Using innocents for shields is wrong.
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# AS 2011-06-14 20:05
"Israel has ordered entire christian villages confiscated." Please provide evidence supporting this assertion.
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# Bram Floria 2011-06-14 20:09
Who'd've thought I would have to unsubscribe from Michael Yon's comment stream to avoid racist slurs and meaningless vitriol? How sad. I do appreciate the several thoughtful comments sprinkled throughout the waste.
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# Michael Yon@gmail. 2011-06-14 20:20
Bram -- you've got a strong point. It saddens me, too. But I can't unsubscribe.
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# David Harreld 2011-06-14 20:33
Sure would love to see folks finally decide to subscribe to what the God of scripture has to say about this region that His glory has departed over two thousand years ago. The old city of Jerusalem has become "Ichabod" just as Shiloh did before her. He promises that His Spirit is never again to dwell in a temple made of wood and stone.
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# AS 2011-06-14 20:59
So we can't even avoid "racist slurs and meaningless vitriol" on an obscure Michael Yon comment stream to an unimportant 60 year old position paper, yet some fools still think that "peace in the Middle East" is an easily obtainable goal.
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# Ariella 2011-06-14 23:54
You forgot to mention that the accused soldier, who was eventually found guilty of various crimes and imprisoned, was released when the two key witnesses in the case admitted that they had lied.
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# ironargonaut 2011-06-15 00:15
Looking at your title "Again you are wrong (lying)", so now quoting an Israel newsite is lying? Oh ya that's right I am "mentally ill" qouting a newstory must the equivalent to lying to sane people.
Quoting Ariella:
You forgot to mention that the accused soldier, who was eventually found guilty of various crimes and imprisoned, was released when the two key witnesses in the case admitted that they had lied.

What I said was "Recently a Israel soldier pumped a little girl full of bullets, because she dropped her books within site of his outpost while walking to school. No discipline was taken." Nothing you stated contradicts what I stated. What you said "Another lie about "killer" Jews harming 'Palestinian' Arabs." The source I quoted affirms I was not lying. Your knowledge of the incident seems to affirm you new I was not lying when you boldly stated I was. Notice nowhere did I use the words "killer" or Jew.
I still do not believe all muslims are evil.
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# Breck Jeffery 2011-07-05 20:30
I remain forever impressed at the heat a document like this creates. Laying aside a discussion of those opinions, I note that the document is written in American English, i.e., American as opposed to British spellings, which suggests we are getting a Washington perspective rather than one from London.
Regards from Bagram.
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# Jacob Theodore 2011-07-05 20:45
Please also note that the classification is Top Secret". I believe the Blokes say Most Secret, which also happens to be grammatically correct in the context of secrecy levels.

I have handled a lot of classified material in my lifetime and the way we go about labeling it is not intuitive at all.
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