Fred Halliday Quotes
“the USSR, far from having engineered the April 1978 communist seizure of power in Kabul, and plotting then to send in troops as part of some broader drive to the Indian Ocean and the oilfields of the Gulf, was reacting in a cautious and often confused way to the growing instability inside Afghanistan.”
“Following their withdrawal, the PDPA regime survived, only falling in April 1992 after the withdrawal of Russian financial support. The campaign of the counter-revolutionary Islamic guerrillas, and the later ending of Moscow’s material aid to Kabul, were organised by Western, Saudi and Pakistani intelligence services”
“the West, in violation of the April 1988 UN agreement on a Soviet withdrawal, continued to arm and finance the rebels and in the end brought down the reforming communist regime. In April 1988 the ‘West’, i.e. the US, Britain and its allies, Egypt and Pakistan, signed an agreement to stop supplying the Islamist guerrillas in Afghanistan in return for a withdrawal of Soviet forces. The Soviets left by February 1989, but aid to the guerrillas continued with the intention of forcing a collapse of the communist regime in Kabul.”
“outbreak of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war was not a result of some global strategy, but of a set of specific, regional calculations and miscalculations; on one hand, Israel’s long-standing wish to strike at the growing military power of Egypt and, on the other, the tactical mistakes of Nasser in May of that year, through which he requested the withdrawal of UN buffer forces and so left himself open to the Israeli attack.”
“But by any broad human rights criteria, the republican regimes of the region were responsible for far more killing, brutality, oppression and, often, corruption and theft of the people’s wealth than were the monarchies. Between, on the one side the Shah of Iran, Nuri Said of Iraq and King Faruq of Egypt and, on the other, the Islamic Republic, the Iraqi Ba‘th Party and the militaristic junta that has ruled Egypt since 1952, there is no comparison.”
“In the late 1950s and early 1960s, leading up to its first coup in March 1963, the Ba‘th in general, and Saddam Hussein in particular, had relations with the US intelligence services. On the testimony of King Hussein of Jordan, we learn that the CIA collaborated actively with the Ba‘th in its coup of March 1963, which led to the killing of thousands of communist opponents.”
“The ultimate irony of the influence of communism was that those who opposed it so ferociously – first the Ba‘th Party and then the Islamists – borrowed heavily from its ideological framework and organisational model. (For the influence of Marxism on the ideology of Ayatollah Khomeini, see Ervand Abrahamian, Khomeinism, London, I. B. Tauris, 1993.) Khomeini, beyond his denunciations of ‘world-devouring’ jahankhor imperialism, also celebrated 1 May as the Festival of the Islamic Worker. He cited a hadith (a saying of the Prophet) to the effect that the sweat of the worker meant more in the eyes of Allah than the prayers of the faithful.”
- Date of birth: February 22, 1946
- Died: April 26, 2010
- Born: in Dublin, Ireland.
- Description: Simon Frederick Peter Halliday, FBA (22 February 1946 in Dublin, Ireland – 26 April 2010 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain) was an Irish writer and academic specialising in International Relations and the Middle East, with particular reference to the Cold War, Iran, and the Arabian peninsula.