History is a cruel teacher……some even say she is a BITCH!
This month is the 100 years anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement……and some point to this document and the dividing up of the Middle East as the reason that the region is ion such turmoil for so many years…..
A century after the Sykes-Picot Agreement carved up the Ottoman Empire, it is still the root cause of much of the region’s strife.
Source: How the Curse of Sykes-Picot Still Haunts the Middle East – The New Yorker
As usual I feel compelled to offer up a little historical perspective in my small attempt to try and help people understand the turmoil in the Middle East…..
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, we’ve got a package with an explanatory article about the secret accord (below) . . .
The Sykes-Picot accord was conceived at a high point in Britain and France’s imperial power. Hammered out in the midst of the first world war in anticipation of an Entente victory (the Russian Empire, France and the United Kingdom) over the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria), it was concerned with distributing the territorial spoils of Ottoman defeat.
France and Britain, along with most other European powers, had been convinced of the inevitable demise of the Ottoman Empire for decades. The image of the Ottomans as the “sick man of Europe” was one of the defining images of 19th-century diplomacy.
Source: 100th Anniversary: What did the Sykes-Picot Agreement mean for the Middle East? | Informed Comment
At the end of WW1 the victors set about re-drawing the lines in the Middle East….they were dividing up the old Ottoman Empire for colonial aspirations…
When the map changed….so did the world……
Source: Sykes-Picot: The map that spawned a century of resentment – BBC News
The Arabs felt betrayed by the UK……their promises of an Arab kingdom free from foreign dominance was squished….and the hard feelings have been there for a century……but why the lingering hatred?
The borders of the Middle East were drawn during World War I by a Briton, Mark Sykes, and a Frenchman, Francois Picot.
The two diplomats’ pencils divided the map of one of the most volatile regions in the world into states that cut through ethnic and religious communities.
Later dubbed the Sykes-Picot treaty, the secret agreement was signed by Paris and London on May 16, 1916, to become the basis on which the Levant region was shaped for years to come.
A century on, the Middle East continues to bear the consequences of the treaty, and many Arabs across the region continue to blame the subsequent violence in the Middle East, from the occupation of Palestine to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), on the Sykes-Picot treaty.
In this piece, we revisit the circumstances that led to the signing of this critical agreement and the events that unfolded afterwards.
Source: A century on: Why Arabs resent Sykes-Picot
to this day, many blame the Sykes-Picot Agreement for all the problems in the Middle East….but there is one group that sees history a bit differently….Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)…….they have offered up an opposing look at Sykes-Picot…..I would expect them to do so….I mean they were part and parcel to the dividing and why would they admit they screwed up…..
Sometime in the 100 years since the Sykes-Picot agreement was signed, invoking its “end” became a thing among commentators, journalists, and analysts of the Middle East. Responsibility for the cliché might belong to the Independent’s Patrick Cockburn, who in June 2013 wrote an essay in the London Review of Books arguing that the agreement, which was one of the first attempts to reorder the Middle East after the Ottoman Empire’s demise, was itself in the process of dying. Since then, the meme has spread far and wide: A quick Google search reveals more than 8,600 mentions of the phrase “the end of Sykes-Picot” over the last three years.
The failure of the Sykes-Picot agreement is now part of the received wisdom about the contemporary Middle East. And it is not hard to understand why. Four states in the Middle East are failing — Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. If there is a historic shift in the region, the logic goes, then clearly the diplomatic settlements that produced the boundaries of the Levant must be crumbling. History seems to have taken its revenge on Mark Sykes and his French counterpart, François Georges-Picot, who hammered out the agreement that bears their name.
View full text of article.
I apologize….for these tools want you to become a subscriber and may not allow you access to the piece…..but if you would like to try please feel free to do so….
But if that one did not work out….I found an article in the UK’s The Telgraph along those same lines…..
Exactly a century ago, an Englishman and a Frenchman unrolled a map of the Middle East and drew an improbably straight line across the desert. With one pen-stroke, Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot created the modern states of the region and carelessly lit the fuse of a thousand conflicts that blaze even today.
By drawing a line from contemporary Iraq to the Mediterranean, they ignored explosive ethnic and religious divides. In this way, Britain and France carved up the Middle East after the First World War, jointly committing the original sin that lurks behind today’s tragedies.
So runs the folklore version of the Sykes-Picot agreement, whose centenary falls on Monday. This critique has gained such power that it has entered popular culture, largely because of David Lean’s epic Lawrence of Arabia.
Source: A century on, don’t blame Sykes-Picot for the Middle East’s troubles
And finally a good debate piece on the Agreement………
Source: A century on: What remains of Sykes-Picot – AJE News
I know it is a lot to take in and the Agreement has some many aspects that ity can be confusing….but maybe the fact that so many Americans are dying in the region would make it worth the read and a bit of understanding…..
Now you have both sides of the story……you may chose which ever of the fairy tales you care to believe……there are two sides to every situation…..I could not find a non-interested party to take the side of the US and the UK in this……