The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
An article by Robert Fisk, which proves and demonstrates how the "Imperial Powers" of Europe, namely the United Kingdom and France, completely botched the political structure and long term stability of the Middle East, in the years following the First World War. In recent years, United States foreign policy in the region has compounded and amplified an already volatile environment and made the situation even worse.
When drawing artificial borders to give effect to the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1915/1916, the map makers did not understand, or completely ignored, all those factors which since the beginning of time, have been taken as the demarcation lines between countries. Borders have historically followed the lines of rivers, or mountain ranges or other geographic features, but not in the case of the Middle East. It is only necessary to look at a map of the region, to see how a series of straight lines were artificially drawn to create the present day Countries. In addition to this no recognition or importance was given to the tribal and religious differences between the peoples of the region. Having created the "borders", western governments made another fundamental error by installing family dynasties in the new countries, not because the families were of the same religion or tribe or ethnic stock of the people they were installed to rule, but because the families were prepared to adhere to the policies of the west in exchange for military, economic and diplomatic support from London, Paris and more recently, Washington. The whole situation was and is a recipe for chaos and conflict, a disaster in fact waiting to happen.
|The complex geography of the Middle East|
The position today is a hodgepodge of conflicting allegiances and rivalries, changing frequently as ally becomes enemy and vice versa, new enemies or allies emerge and with the western powers changing their position, to support which ever faction seems most likely to accept the “leadership” of the west. It is not as simple as friction between Sunni and Shia. The issues are far more diverse and complicated.
There seems to be little prospect of resolving the complexities of this spreading chaos without a lengthy period of intense conflict, any time soon. The choices facing the west in the resolution of this turmoil are both stark and limited. Either the conflict is allowed to carry on as presently arranged, the consequences of which are unknown but potentially cataclysmic or the warring factions are allowed to resolve their differences without any interventions from Europe or the United States. This is a Middle Eastern problem, created by Europe, and the countries of the Middle East must be allowed to resolve the conflict between themselves. It may well be that there will be great loss of life and widespread destruction during this process, but it will be far shorter than the prolongation of the current wars which will inevitably result from western attempts to cobble together yet another short term solution and which invariably holds the seeds of its own destruction.