Do a Google News search on “Prince Hassan Bin Tallal” or “Talal” and the results will point to the Daily Star of Lebanon and Today’s Zaman out of Turkey, but not one result over at the New York Times, ABC News, CNN, Fox, et al. Of course, this is hardly surprising, because you’re not supposed to know what Prince Hassan Bin Talal knows, in fact what millions of Arabs know. Here in America, we have more urgent concerns—for instance the “news” that the drug addict Anna Nicole Smith died of an overdose.
And what does Bin Talal and millions of Arabs know?
“After a keynote speech at the European Policy Centre in Brussels on the ‘coexistence of civilizations’ Prince Hassan Bin Tallal, crown prince of Jordan in the final days of the late King Hussein, spoke to Today’s Zaman…. Prince Hassan made it clear that the idea of breaking Iraq into pieces, as is circulating in some US and Israeli circles, would be a fatal mistake. The Jordanian prince warned that a possible break-up would play into the hands of Israeli ‘extremists,’ making Israel the dominant minority in a region of minorities.”
Prince Hassan “is now one of the leading intellectuals and activists of the Islamic world,” and yet his comments go unreported in this country. “I want to cite the Clean Break paper of 1996 attributed to the conservatives in the US. It seems to me that the concept of pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism, supra-national identity was actually taken to pieces by this paper, arguing somehow that fragmentation was taking place in that part of the world, so let us take full advantage of this. Muslims and Arabs do not need enemies as they are doing an excellent job of destroying each other. Of course this plays into the hands of Israeli extremists that believe Israel should emerge as the dominating minority in a region of minorities or a mosaic of minorities.”
The idea of taking “to pieces” Arab nationalism is hardly revelatory. “This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking,” writes Khalil Nakhleh in the publisher’s note to Israel Shahak’s transation of Oded Yinon’s A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties. “Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme,” going back at least to the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former prime minister of Israel, as documented by Livia Rokach (Israel’s Sacred Terrorism: A study based on Moshe Sharett’s Personal Diary). Of course, until the Israelis hit the jackpot with the neocons, who were able to infiltrate the Bush administration and drive U.S. foreign policy, they were unable to carry out their master plan on the scale envisioned.
“End of the Westphalian system, the end of the Middle Eastern community of states, the beginning of a Balkanization that could lead, in the words of the former Iraqi Defense Minister Ali Allawi, to a new 100 years of war,” Hassan continues.
In short, a plan perfect for the Israelis and their neocon helpers.
Of course, none of this matters—as we are essentially deaf, dumb, and blind here in America, a condition facilitated by the corporate media—and it appears quite plain we are headed for what Hassan characterizes as a “new 100 years of war,” not simply in the Middle East but across the board.
But never mind. Former topless model and potential heiress Anna Nicole Smith has died from an overdose of prescription drugs. A TSA baggage screener stole a $100,000 watch from Paris Hilton’s bag. And most important of all, Britney Spears is back in the hospital again, this time with a toothache.