The Brits … Not Always the Good Guys

In every conflict throughout history there are usually the good guys and the bad guys. Why else would there be a conflict. The bad guys invariably try to expand their territory, for whatever the reason, and the good guys immediately or eventually step in to stop them.

The good guys either beat the bad guys or at least stop their advance, as in the first Gulf War. Saddam Hussein was a bad guy and the good guys, the George H. W. Bush coalition, stopped his advance into Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

However, it's not always that way. Sometimes it's bad against bad. Saddam's Iraq against Iran, for example. Fascist Germany against Communist Russia – a perfect example of the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. Stalin's Soviet Russia ended up being worse than Hitler, by a stretch.

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Even rarer is a bad guy that eventually becomes a good guy. One of the most famous examples is Japan. Imagine you are a soldier or sailor fighting in the Pacific in 1943 and someone tells you that sometime in the future Japan will be one of our staunchest allies. He'd think you were nuts.

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But it does happen – the bad guys can reform themselves.

Great Britain is a shining example of this – France also. In fact Glenn Beck just recently documented how the Brits may have been our friend and ally for a long time, but they were not always the good guys.

There was a secret agreement made between Britain, France and Russia in 1916 called the "Sykes-Picot Agreement." At that time it was called the "Asia Minor Agreement."

Beck explains that the Ottoman Empire was "the last time the Arab world had a united Islamic state led by a religious leader." It was the last caliphate and what ISIL is now striving to re-create.

Beck said, "The Allies knew the Ottoman Empire could shut down key shipping routes and cripple Britain's economy, Frances [also]… They had to neutralize it." Britain, Beck explains, dispatched an army officer to the region to convince Arabs to join the fight to defeat the Ottoman Empire, the caliphate. In return, Beck said the officer was given the authority to promise the Arabs in return for their help, "rule over a new united Arab kingdom of greater Syria – which encompassed present-day Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and parts of Iraq and Jordan."

Going in, the Brits had no intention of keeping their promise and relinquishing the territory to these Arabs. "They had used the Arabs," Beck said, "in order to protect their own interests. Remember, they needed to get the Ottoman Empire out of the way."

At the same time British officer T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was lying to the Arabs, the Brits were secretly negotiating with the French and Russians to divide up the territory left behind from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. This was the Sykes-Picot Agreement, named for Britain's Sir Mark Sykes and French diplomat François Georges-Picot.

So between Sykes-Picot and the Balfour Declaration, expressing Britain's support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, the Arabs that help defeat the Ottoman Empire got the short end of the stick, so to speak.

Once agreed to, Britain got control of the coast between the sea and the River Jordan, Jordan itself, southern Iraq, and seaports in Haifa and Acre. France controlled southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Russia got Istanbul and the Turkish Straits.

These agreements are what actually started the Islamic ball rolling; but, rather than blame the British, French or Russians, they picked as their sworn enemy, someone a little more local – the Jews. Why not – they've been persecuted for thousands of years – why stop now?

Many look at 1948, the UN resolution that formed present-day Israel, as the start of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but it was really the events of 1916 and 17 that were the Genesis.

So we look at our lifelong friends the Brits – once we have so much history – such a kinship with and say, "they, like us, are the good guys." But it wasn't always that way.

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