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Saturday, 14 June 2014

The old partition of the Middle East is dead


Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
Arab revolt 1916
On the 17th March 2013, I wrote a piece in this Blog (, part of the text is reproduced below), commenting on the artificial creation of "countries" in the Middle East by the "Sykes-Picot Agreement" following the end of the First World War.  In view of the present situation in Iraq and Syria, and the recent advances of the Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it seems appropriate to remind ourselves of the background to the current situation, as the history of the region is invariably forgotten or ignored by the governments of the "West" and their ardent supporters in the press and media.
"Having spent some considerable time in the Middle east, including Syria, it seems to me that there is a significant body of opinion in the west which is based not on experience or personal observation, but on the comments, reporting and often biased news coverage from the media, and from some western politicians with their own covert agendas. Generally, the collective "Arab" mistrust of the west is based firmly in the history of the region and the way in which peoples have been betrayed by the west for hundreds of years. First the Ottoman's then the Europeans have imposed rulers in these artificially created lands (have you ever wondered why there are so many straight line borders between the countries of the Middle east?) which have been installed not because they are wanted by their peoples, but because they are friendly and cooperative towards western governments. They also purchase vast quantities of "defence equipment" to maintain their positions and provide "bases" for the western nations to retain a foothold in the region.
When these artificial regimes are overthrown and replaced by administrations which may well be Islamist, but are sometimes secular, they are immediately condemned and isolated by the west for no better reason than that western influence and values have been rejected. Just because an administration is Islamist, it does not automatically follow that it is wrong or unpopular within its own borders. The west does not have the right to assume that if countries do not follow the "western model" they are automatically hostile. The hostility of many of the emergent administration is brought about by the duplicity of the west with previous administrations and their role in the "uprisings". 
For additional reading, go to: "Chickens coming home to roost" at