Culture and Religion


In commemoration of Imam Khomeini's death

1) The king of Saudi has recently called Iran a source of terrorism. Is there anything you want to remind king Salman that shows him who is the real responsible of terrorism?

From promoting Osama bin Laden, to 9/11 itself, and on to Syria and Yemen, the evidence of Saudi support for terrorism -- willful killing of innocent civilians -- is clear as day. Combine this with Saudi condoning of US state terrorism, and there is no question who is the real terrorist.

2) What has been the greatest achievement of Imam Khomeini and the Islamic republic to the community of Islam at large?

University of Toronto's March "Islam Awareness Week: Power of Diversity" featured talks highlighting nature, the trials of boxing great Muhammed Ali, and an festival of fine arts and food. The talk by two native Canadian converts was especially empowering. We first honoured the native peoples who once dwelt on the land where we were sitting, the Mississauga, Huron and Iroquois. Toronto (Tkaronto ) is an Iroquois word, meaning  'reflection of trees on water' or 'meeting place', and the Toronto Passage – the Humber and Rouge rivers – as a shortcut between Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay. It was a vital link in the trade route that ran from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Superior.

The first speaker was David Alexanderson, a Cree/ Lakota from Saskatchewan, who spoke about the nightmare of growing up native in Canada -- his parents alcoholics, his father violent, his childhood spent in 57 different foster homes, where he suffered frequent abuse by these constantly changing authority figures. Because his parents were drinking heavily during his mother's pregnancy, he was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which creates severe behavioural problems.
We are told we live in a Judeo-Christian civilization, that the West has a Judeo-Christian heritage, a concept useful to a largely Christian empire where Jews play a powerful role, but one which is rejected by serious scholars, both Christian and Jewish. Talmudic scholar Jacob Neusner told Newsweek: "Theologically and historically, there is no such thing as the Judeo-Christian tradition. It's a secular myth favored by people who are not really believers themselves."

The concept was popularized in the 1940s as a reaction to Nazism and was used by the imperial elite in promoting anticommunism, and in Israel's conquest of Palestine, fashioned as a "clash of civilization" targeting Islam. Many of the founders of Israel (Ben Gurion and Begin) had been communists, and many American Jews in entertainment and intellectual life were communists and had to refashion themselves as anticommunists in the new age of US empire.

It became the foundation of the ideology of the “special relationship” between the US and the newly proclaimed Jewish state in 1948, and was integral to American politics by the 1960s. It was an inevitable result of Israel’s creation and its early need to make an unbreakable bond with the leading empire.

The coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad in Iran remained the centerpiece for the new imperialism. It was only natural that the US embassy in Tehran became a "nest of spies", as it has been dubbed since then, ‘mission control center’ for all US espionage activity in the Muslim world.

The following is Mr. Walberg’s interview with the English section of

What made the US orchestrate the coup d’état of the 28th of Mordad in Iran (August 19, 1953)?

It is important to follow the events in the region that the 1953 coup in Iran was part of. Imperialism has gone through three distinct stages since the term “Great Game” was coined in the nineteenth century to describe the rivalry between imperialist powers, in the first place, Russia and Britain. Imperial strategy was simpler then, but the basic elements were in place.

Britain sent spies disguised as surveyors and traders to Afghanistan and Turkestan and, several times, armies to keep the Russians at bay. The ill-fated Anglo-Afghan war of 1839–42 was precipitated by fears that the Russians were encroaching on British interests in India after Russia established a diplomatic and trade presence in Afghanistan. Already by the nineteenth century there was no such thing as neutral territory. The entire world was now a gigantic playing field for the major industrial powers, and Eurasia was the center of this playing field.

The coup in 1953 in Iran was a key move in what I refer to as Great Game II: the imperialist powers, now united in a Cold War against socialism and third world liberation, which went into high gear following WWII.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here