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The Supranational Question and the Pan-Arabist Precedents

nasser

Gamal Abdel Nasser, titan of Pan-Arab nationalism

Richard Spencer, in his 2013 lecture “Why We Need Europe”, observes that “for some time now, the traditionalist right in Britain and on the continent has been animated by opposition to the European Union. We rage, and we probably enjoy raging, against a bureaucratic superstate that seems at once impotent, annoying, clueless, and totalitarian. The EU, we like to think, is the triumph of everything awful in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.” Spencer, however, looks to “solutions that lie outside of the nation-state box” and suggests that the European Union, if commandeered for identitarian purposes, might provide the infrastructure for reclamation of its constituent territories by its indigenous peoples – “a racial and civilizational superstate on the European continent”1.

Dirk van Laak explains the curious manner in which the movement for European unification was hastened a half a century ago by its antagonistic encounter with another supranational movement – the anticolonial Pan-Arabism of Egypt’s revolutionist visionary statesman Gamal Abdel Nasser:

Only in the mid-1950s – after the Mau-Mau uprising in Kenya, the beginning of the war in Algeria and the Bandung Conference – did the French and the British finally realize how futile it was to further retain their imperial ambitions. The most decisive event and emblematic turning point was the Suez Crisis in 1956. Tellingly, it was sparked by quarrels over the ambitious plan to build the largest dam ever located in Africa. The Egyptian president Jamal [a.k.a. Gamal] Abdel Nasser nationalized the most outstanding of “imperial infrastructures”, the Suez canal, in order to finance the long-projected Aswan dam. In a late colonial campaign French, British and Israeli troops attacked Egypt by air. But the United States and the United Nations alike refused to endorse the action. The British withdrew, the French felt betrayed – and solidarity between the two nations was severely tainted.

Subsequently, the conference underway at Venice to shape a European economic co-operation was decisively pushed forward by the Egyptian incident. Only then did an integrated Europe appear as a viable alternative to the fading colonial empires. Starting with Ghana in 1957, most of Africa was quickly seized by the “winds of change” that Harold Macmillan emblematically talked about in 1960. Louis Armand, president of the European Atomic Energy Community, in retrospect even suggested erecting a statue of Nasser as the “federator of Europe”. In this respect Africa indeed acted as a detour towards European integration. If the colonial question had retarded integration efforts up to the mid-1950s, following the crises at Suez and in Hungary it accelerated them.2

syrians

Syrians, hoisting a coffin marked “USA”, demonstrate in support of Nasser at the time of the establishment of the United Arab Republic in 1958. Note the six-pointed star on the coffin.

A similar defensive urgency attached itself to the United Arab Republic, a parallel venture to the project of European integration. Stephen J. King summarizes the rationale and discontents of the Egyptian-Syrian experiment in political union:

While Syria wobbled under political strains in the 1950s, the charismatic Gamal Abdel Nasser had led the Free Officers’ revolution in Egypt, dissolved the country’s feudal agrarian structures, kicked out the British, and successfully stood up to Western powers and Israel over the Suez Canal. In addition, by making an alliance with the Soviet Union, Nasser had also demonstrated that Arabs had options [i.e., alternatives] to Western arms and aid. These attributes made Nasser a powerful leader for followers of the pan-Arab nationalism preached by the Ba’th; as a result, Syrian Ba’thist military officers sought to form a union with Egypt and Nasser. Their naïve hopes and the excitement of the times was such that they believed that one great and charismatic Arab leader, Nasser, could realize all of their aims quickly. Forming a union with Egypt under Nasser could quickly fortify them against hostile regional and international powers [like Israel] and accelerate the social revolution within Syria.

In 1958, at the request of Syrian military officers, Nasser agreed to a union between Egypt and Syria. The new country was named the United Arab Republic (UAR). However, the Ba’thist officers who sought the union soon learned that, contrary to their hopes, Nasser wanted to rule Syria with Egyptians largely, and wished to institute a form of Arab socialism without input from the Ba’th. Nasser’s conditions for uniting with Syria included the dissolution of all political parties and a demand that the Syrian army withdraw from politics. The Ba’th’s civilian leader, Michel ‘Aflaq, obliged and announced the dissolution of the Ba’th.

As early as 1959, popular sentiment within Syria turned against the union due to its domination by Egyptians. Syria had lost control of its own affairs under Nasser. All major decisions taken by the United Arab Republic were made by Nasser and a small group of officers and security men in Cairo. Egyptian security agents spied on Syrians for the regime. Egyptian manufactured products were favored over their Syrian counterparts, and Egyptian peasants were favored over Syrian peasants in some land policies.3

nasser-khrushchev

Nasser, seen here meeting with the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev, represented a third position in international affairs.

Nevertheless, the establishment of the UAR “represents the pinnacle of pan-Arab success,” writes Sarah Mousa for Al Jazeera.

The moment was testament to Arab triumph over colonialism; the Arab people had taken a bold step towards overcoming decades of divisive, disempowering schemes in a declaration of freedom. Pan-Arab ideals did not simply entail bureaucratic unity, but sought social and economic justice through universal education, employment guarantees, minimum wages and semi-socialist land reform policies. The union was greeted popularly as crowds flooded the streets of the new Republic’s cities. Even after a coup by a Syrian separatist movement ended with the dissolving of the union in 1961, Nasser continued to mark the day as a testament to the power of Arab will. […]

While the Nasser government was certainly not flawless, it remains among the most celebrated of modern Arab times. Historian Albert Hourani aptly describes it as a government “for the people, but not by the people”. Personal freedoms were sacrificed for the sake of collective social and economic justice domestically and national freedom and autonomy on an international scale. Opposition was silenced by force. […]

While there were personal costs to the realisation of pan-Arab goals, the collective good was consistently presented as the government’s greatest interest, even if the popular good did not result in national Arab unity. In his lengthy speech announcing the Syrian secession from the UAR, Nasser explained his belief that the separatist movement was unrepresentative of the Syrian people, praising the popular protests that had erupted in the streets of Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Homs and Deir el-Zour on the first days of the coup. Nonetheless, Nasser turned away from pursuing his initial plan of military intervention on behalf of continued unity, emphasising that the potential bloodshed among the Syrian people was not in the interests of true Arabism.4

nasser-nimeiri-gaddafi

Egypt’s Nasser poses with Sudan’s Gaafar Nimeiri and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi

A reconstituted Ba’th party staged a coup that extracted Syria from the UAR in 1961; and Nasser, not wanting to burn a conceivably salvageable bridge, did not intervene militarily. Following the death of Nasser in September of 1970, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi assumed the role of the region’s preeminent advocate of Pan-Arabism and unification. “No matter how much or how often he has demonstrated political naivety or abrasiveness in the process, Gaddafi has been constant in his pursuit of Arab unity and has been prepared, again and again, to revive calls for unions with other Arab states with whom he has quarrelled or fallen out even though their leaders have been downright hostile,” writes Guy Arnold in his 1996 study The Maverick State: Gaddafi and the New World Order5.

Libya’s neighbor Algeria was traditionally cool toward such proposals (but did at one point tentatively agree to a union during the eighties), while Morocco’s monarchy had nothing but disdain for Libya’s revolution (a 1972 Moroccan radio broadcast dismissed Gaddafi as “foolish and insane”6). The Arab nationalist government of Gaafar Nimeiri in Sudan, initially amenable to the idea of a unification with Libya, was alienated by Gaddafi’s insistence on haste in enacting the plans:

nimeiri

Gaafar Nimeiri

The death of Nasser […] removed the one figure in the Arab world who might have restrained Gaddafi but that is only surmise, for at the time of his death, the proposed union between Egypt, Libya and Sudan had made little progress. After Nasser’s funeral, however, the leaders of the three countries (Vice-President Anwar Sadat had replaced Nasser) announced that they would set up a federation which they hoped would form the nucleus of an eventual wider union. Subsequently, a number of committees were established to examine ways and means of implementation. At a summit in Cairo that November, Libya and Sudan disagreed about the timing of the federation. Libya sought a three-year time limit to the creation of the union while Sudan was opposed to such speed. Then Syria announced its desire to join the federation and in December the four countries agreed a military union pact. At least, at this stage, some form of union appeared a genuine possibility and Libya had concentrated its attention upon its eastern neighbors rather than the Maghreb counties. Very little was to be plain sailing thereafter. 

The Federation of Arab Republics (FAR) was agreed upon between three of the four states – Egypt, Libya and Syria – at Benghazi on 17 April 1971 (Nimeiri was present at the meeting but not party to the agreement) and the FAR was inaugurated on 4 October 1971 when Sadat was elected as first President. It was a first step, as Gaddafi hoped, towards greater Arab unity.7

On paper, at least, the amalgamation of Egypt and Libya made a certain amount of sense. In addition to cultural affinities, each country could offer the other complementary resources. Egypt, the mother country of the Arab revolution, was a much more populous nation and represented a wealth of human resources to Libya, which, however, was oil-rich and had the capacity to subsidize any joint ventures with the Egyptians.

Gaddafi’s more militant attitude toward the Israelis ultimately undermined the chances of more substantial integration with Egypt and Syria, however. During the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Gaddafi expressed the view that the ultimate Arab war aim ought to be the final destruction of Israel, while the countries on the front line of the conflict were understandably less inclined to such a bellicose position. Relations with Egypt and Sudan soured during the subsequent years as allegations of Libyan meddling in the countries’ domestic affairs accumulated. Gaddafi did nothing to salve the worsening tensions with Egypt when, for instance, he held a press conference at which he called for Egyptian citizens to mount a “cultural revolution” on the Libyan model8.

assad-amin-sadat-gaddafi

Gaddafi poses with, from left to right, Syria’s Hafez al-Assad, Uganda’s Idi Amin Dada, and Egypt’s Anwar al-Sadat

For a brief time in 1974, the government of Tunisia expressed its intention to unite with Libya, but this proposal, as with so many others during Gaddafi’s tenure, went nowhere.

As relations with Egypt worsened during 1974, Gaddafi spoke of the need for a people’s revolution in that country; at the same time his belief in the need for unions or Arab unity did not weaken. Sadat made plain in a letter to Gaddafi that he would not tolerate interference in his country’s affairs and in March the Arab oil ministers, meeting in Vienna, heeded Sadat’s advice and lifted the oil embargo on the United States. In April Gaddafi was obliged to admit that his attempt at a reconciliation with Egypt the previous February had failed. Matters were made worse in April when an attempted coup in Egypt was linked to Libya and then in May, President Nimeiri of Sudan also accused Libya of complicity in a plot against him. Other areas of friction between Libya and Egypt multiplied during the year and culminated in a two-way propaganda war between them. In October a letter of Gaddafi to the Beirut paper Al-Usbu al-Arabi attacked Sadat and accused him of not wanting to see the people rule. He urged Egypt’s peasants, workers, students and officials to seize power and set up a “people’s government” and then unite with Libya. By the end of the year an isolated Libya was at odds with Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia and had deteriorating relations with Algeria. A partial rapprochement with Sudan was achieved in November when Nimeiri made a visit to Cairo and Tripoli and explained to Gaddafi that while he believed in Arab unity it was not something that could be hurried: “We agreed we shared the same objective – the only difference was about how to achieve it.9

The irony of Gaddafi’s zeal for unification with his Arab neighbors is that his haphazard promotion of this objective resulted in the intensification of tensions in the Arab world. Sadat, as his foreign policy shifted toward accord with the United States and Israel (a policy backed by Sudan’s Nimeiri), did nothing to ameliorate Gaddafi’s attitude, nor did his assertion during a 1975 interview that “Gaddafi is 100 per cent sick and possessed by a devil which makes him imagine things.”10 Further accusations against Gaddafi from the governments of Egypt, Sudan, and Tunisia followed in 1976, and Libya and Egypt were even at war with each other for a few days in 197711.

Equal partnerships are rarities in international relations; and Gaddafi, like Nasser before him, aspired not to compromise so much as export of his own revolution to the surrounding Arab nations. “His persistence,” Arnold writes, “can be interpreted as the naïve determination of a dreamer who refuses to be deterred by more pragmatic considerations of the prosaic business of running a modern state; or, it can be seen as a more dangerous and deliberate effort to destabilize countries with which he is in disagreement for no Arab leader, as a general proposition, is willing to be seen arguing against Arab unity.”12 If nothing else, he illustrates that racial or cultural supranationalism, if it is ever to prove itself more than a dream and become a force of political actualization, requires a diplomatic genius in which Gaddafi was sadly and gloriously lacking. At the same time, the figures of Nasser and Gaddafi reflect the power of personalities to alter the course of history.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Endnotes

  1. Spencer, Richard. “Why We Need Europe” (October 25, 2013): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXGOWJbt2BU
  2. Laak, Dirk van. “Detours around Africa: The Connection between Developing Colonies and Integrating Europe”, in Badenoch, Alexander; and Andreas Fickers, Eds. Materializing Europe: Transnational Infrastructures and the Project of Europe. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, pp. 35-36.
  3. King, Stephen J. The New Authoritarianism in the Middle East and Africa. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2009, pp. 41-42.
  4. Mousa, Sarah. “Commemorating the United Arab Republic”. Al Jazeera (February 22, 2013): http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/02/201321985412606377.html
  5. Arnold, Guy. The Maverick State: Gaddafi and the New World Order. New York, NY: Cassell, 1996, p. 49.
  6. Ibid., p. 51.
  7. Ibid., p. 50.
  8. Ibid., p. 52.
  9. Ibid., p. 53.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid., p. 54.
  12. Ibid., p. 49.
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About icareviews

Propaganda Minister of #AryanSkynet

28 comments on “The Supranational Question and the Pan-Arabist Precedents

  1. NoddingHead
    February 17, 2017

    We came, we saw, he died.

    Like

    • BMan
      February 17, 2017

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hipster Racist
        February 17, 2017

        The only two times that Hillary Clinton ever came across as an actual human being was in her autobiography when she was talking about meeting Bill, and once on some talk show like Oprah, talking about her and Bill’s second date or something like that.

        Every other time she sounds like a sociopath. One could chalk it up to a woman trying to “act tough” to prove she can be as ruthless as a man, but it just comes across as psychopathic.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. icareviews
    February 17, 2017

    Reblogged this on icareviews.

    Like

  3. NoddingHead
    February 17, 2017

    Libya was becoming too successful and independent. Now look! HAHAHAHAHAHA (Hillary cackle) HE DIED!! And Libya is in violent chaos, no longer a threat to Wall Street hegemony. Paul Craig Roberts is right. Americans don’t see what is going on. It isn’t “humanitarianism” or “Democracy”. It is global domi ation by mainly banking interests.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. NoddingHead
    February 17, 2017

    I think Richard Spencer is finished. The “sieg heil” stuff done him in. Stupid. Greg Johnson is correct.

    Like

    • icareviews
      February 17, 2017

      Which still doesn’t mean that everything he’s ever said is wrong. My purpose in writing this wasn’t to glorify Richard Spencer. I was just using his great speech here as a springboard for a hopefully useful historical exploration.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sam J.
      February 18, 2017

      “…Richard Spencer is finished. The “sieg heil” stuff done him in. Stupid…”

      Richard Spencer didn’t “sieg heil” anything and the ones that did were plants.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hipster Racist
        February 18, 2017

        I am, of course, accused of being a “conspiracy theorist” when I point this out, but after reviewing the entire Red Ice and other media coverage of the event:

        1. There were only five people that did the “Hitler salutes” at the conference.

        2. Two of those were self-described “Jewish” men posing for their own cameras with …

        3. the Vietnamese woman called “Tila Tequila,” outside of the event as part of a self-described joke…

        4. The fourth was Mike “Enoch” who is married to a Jewish woman and an “LGBT activist” …

        5. and one ostensibly white man who followed Mike “Enoch’s” lead.

        A similar event was staged by “Azzmodor” of the (((Daily Stormer))) who a few weeks later showed up at Spencer’s Texas A&M event, could not get it, so planted himself behind a police barricade, started shouting at the “Antifa” doing “Hitler salutes” and gave an interview to the Jewish media where he “denied the Holocaust” and otherwise acted like an $PLC stereotype.

        None of these facts are in dispute, but if you point any of them out the (((Daily Stormer))) partisans will accuse you of “punching to the right” and being a “cuck.”

        I keep on pointing out that our audience is not the Jewish media, it’s normal white people. And even if there wasn’t any sort of “Hitler taboo” involved acting like some nutjob historical fetishist turns of normal White people in any case.

        But there are so many people whose goal is to get media coverage for the media’s sake, not to actually get White people to be pro-White. In fact, turning off normal White people is considered a “victory” because the pro-White movement shouldn’t be “mainstream” but instead “radical.”

        So, you all tell me – what is the motivation of people like this?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hipster Racist
    February 17, 2017

    The EU even put out a “hipster racist” commercial back in 2012.

    Like

  6. Pingback: The Supranational Question and the Pan-Arabist Precedents | Aryan Skynet | rudolfblog

  7. Don Logan
    February 17, 2017

    Tom Sunic just published a new one on this subject: https://altright.com/2017/02/16/european-or-ethnic-identity/

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hipster Racist
    February 17, 2017

    Whites would prefer to fight each other – worthy enemies and all that – but give them an external opponent and they usually come around.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bob saffron
    February 17, 2017

    Spencer’s pan-Europeanism (11:47) is touchingly naive. Hilariously, the TRS show itself, Radio Skyrim, went defunct. Too much bickering amongst the Nordics.

    Like

  10. Pingback: The Supranational Question and the Pan-Arabist Precedents | Hipster Racist

  11. Sam J.
    February 18, 2017

    I hate that Muammar Gaddafi is gone. He was one snazzy character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • icareviews
      February 18, 2017

      History will never erase the legacy of that wardrobe.

      Like

      • Sam J.
        February 19, 2017

        They was Kangs! I did like Gaddafi. He was, I believe, generally interested in taking care of his people. Of course if you challenged him you ended up in a cell but compared to his neighbors…he was a fine fellow.

        Liked by 1 person

    • bob saffron
      February 20, 2017

      Mystery surrounds Yvonne Fletcher’s killing. Very fishy.

      Like

      • bob saffron
        February 20, 2017

        Lockerbie also stinks.

        Like

  12. NoddingHead
    February 19, 2017

    Spencer said “hail victory” which is simply the verbatim English translation of “sieg heil”. Then the five or so people loudly did the salute. Anyway, I hope Richard Spencer is not “done for”. The few writings of his I have actually read are very impressive and persuasive. But I fear he will be “David Duked” for the next several decades because of the sieg heil event at NPI, like Greg Johnson says. Hope not.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sam J.
    February 20, 2017

    A bit off topic but I was listening to a bunch of videos I saved and this was always a good one. All this talk about the Jew does this because of that or the other. No they’re just Jews.

    If it’s bad for the Jew it’s good for the USA.

    Like

  14. NoddingHead
    February 23, 2017

    “I’m sure he’ll do just fine.”

    Well, i am sure he won’t go away as he is clearly a highly intelligent and articulate man, just like David Duke. But now the MSM, which doesn’t give a shit about well-articulated truth if it doesn’t serve their agenda, has essentially the same weapon against Spencer that they have had for four decades against David Duke. A facile way to smear him in the eyes of the public. They have their “sieg heil” sound bite, and then also the Daily Stormer-organized “armed intimidation of Jewish people” in Whitefish.

    Like

  15. NoddingHead
    February 23, 2017

    3000 architects and engineers who question the official garbage story of 9/11, many of them highly accomplished professionals, published and articulate, don’t even make a faint dent in the colossus of the big media and their official story of 9/11. Ignored. If mentioned at all, only ridiculed.

    As an aside, I liked reading commenter B’man’s web pages regarding DCdave’s investigations into James Forrestal’s controversial death in 1949 (big media all agree it was “suicide”). The deeper I go, the more I suspect 1913 as the year they achieved complete control.

    Like

    • BMan
      February 23, 2017

      I am not sure if that date was the final control date, but they had enough to render other power structures impotent, in many ways.

      White people are fooled into believing the jew is one of us. Maybe in some cases, racially they are related. But the mindfuck they get growing up into their self-supremacy beliefs is the real difference. Its Talmudic mind control that the vast majority can never break.

      As for DC Dave, he broke off our very long collaboration because I posted one article about cucks that Jared Taylor wrote. He insisted I take it down because he has a feud with Taylor.

      What pissed me off is that instead of calling me on the phone as we had done dozens of times, he started shit at my blog, intentionally trying to sew discord among commenters (culminating in a couple that broke their association with me, as well).

      It was the most immature thing I’ve seen a Septuagenarian do.

      Now I see him coddling up to the likes of Paul Joseph Watkins on Twitter.

      What a twat.

      But he does know the Forrestal murder better than anyone.

      Like

  16. NoddingHead
    February 23, 2017

    Probably should post Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s web page. I do suspect an ememy mole is involved though, making the web site hard to read, hard to navigate, and making it difficult to access the best and most clear information that is available…

    http://www.ae911truth.org

    Like

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