Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Failed Arab States

Syria and Iraq are failed Arab states.  Other failed Muslim States are Yemen, Libya and Somalia, to name a few.  Syria and Iraq were originally founded after WWI by France and Britain, respectively. Contrary to Western perceptions they are not of ancient origin.  Their current disintegration highlights the mistakes that these imperial powers made in cobbling together what they conceived as viable states.  But, they were based on the wrong criteria, instead of forcing different tribes, ethnic groups and sects into one state in an attempt to enforce a national uniformity, they should have separated them according to the basis of their loyalty to their group.  Thus, the Alawites, Sunnis and Druse should not have been forced together into Syria and the Sunnis, Shia and Kurds should not have been forced together into Iraq. The Middle East is currently suffering massively  from the stupidity and misconceptions of the former colonial powers.
After the defeat of the Turkish Empire in WWI the Allied powers, principally Britain and France, re-worked the map of the Middle East according to their own interests, based on the secret Sykes-Picot Treaty that they negotiated during the War.  According to the Treaties after WWI of San Remo (1920) and Lausanne (1923), that were ratified by the League of Nations, the precursor to the UN, Britain was given Mandates for Palestine and Mesopotamia (Iraq), and France was given a Mandate for Syria.  It was understood that the Mandate was a temporary occupation, with the intention that the local peoples would be given self-determination.  The Mandate for Palestine was, according to the Treaty, assigned for the development of a Jewish Homeland, and Israel was established at the end of the British Mandate in 1948.   Pres. Wilson of the USA rejected any American Mandate either for Turkey or Armenia.  He argued that since the US had not declared war on Turkey during the war the US would not be involved in the Middle East and he was certainly against colonialism.
But, it was not only the Colonialists who were at fault.  The Hashemite Sherif Hussein of Mecca, who was then the most powerful Muslim leader, had two sons Feisal and Abdullah, and he signed agreements with the British and French so that each would become King of an Arab Kingdom.  But the French (characteristically) reneged on their agreement, they separated Lebanon from Syria to protect the Christian minority there, and they threw King Faisal out after a short reign in 1920.  The British under Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill, to maintain good relations with Sherif Hussein, appointed Feisal instead as King of Iraq, a country they invented.  In 1922, Britain separated Trans-Jordan illegally from the Palestine Mandate in order to satisfy the need for a second Arab State and appointed Abdullah its King.  Syria eventually became an independent Republic in 1946 with the official end of the French Mandate and Iraq became a Republic in 1958 with the violent overthrow of the Hashemite Monarchy there.  The Hashemites were also overthrown in Arabia by the Saudis in 1932.  Both Syria and Iraq were inventions of the fantasy of the colonialists that they could carve up the Middle East according to their whim. That proved to be far from reality and today Syria and Iraq are failed states.
Syria under Pres. Assad now consists of ca. 40% of its original area.  Approx another 40% is controlled by ISIS, the extreme Sunni Islamist group, that also controls ca. 40% of what was Iraq and that has declared an Islamic Caliphate.  The other ca. 20% of Syria is controlled by other anti-Assad groups, including the so-called democratic opposition.  A similar situation exists in Iraq, the Shia-dominated government of Pres. Mailiki controls only about 40% of what was Iraq, and the rest is under Kurdish control in the north that will soon be declared an independent Kurdistan.   Those who seek to cobble Iraq back together again, like Pres. Obama, are like Humpty Dumpty, attempting to do the impossible, it can't be done.  Now the US is doing what Pres. Wilson expressly decided against, playing the role of the European colonial powers in the MIddle East.  Give it up and let them fight it out until they reach a conclusion.  It may take years, but it's the only way.  Meanwhile we should sit on the sidelines, cheering them on.
PS. My blog postings can now be seen on the web-site "IsraelSeen" at http://israelseen.com/2014/07/07/jack-cohen-on-the-killing-of-our-children/



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