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Redrawing the Middle East map
by lenin    Lenin's Tomb
Entered into the database on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006 @ 15:47:30 MST


Untitled Document

The US Armed Forces Journal on redividing the Middle East:

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The author of this demented piece waxes indignant about the injustice of the present set-up in the Middle East and its roots in self-interested European colonialism (such people always forget Woodrow Wilson's role in all of this). However, it doesn't seem to occur to him that one very obvious problem with the present division of the Middle East is that it was imposed by imperialist states. It is not only that it was done with total disregard for ethnic facts on the ground. The underlying notion of such a critique, at any rate, is the problematic assertion that people need to be apart from those of different ethnicity and together with those of similar ethnicity - the "natural ties of blood and faith" as the author has it. This position totally ignores the recent history of the Middle East, the shifting identifications based on ideology, nationality, religion and ethnicity, with each acquiring priority in different circumstances. The problem is that imperialist states have always treated the people of the Middle East as a substrate on which they may operate or a dangerous rabble which they must suppress. The will to dominate has usually been presented in such gushing terms, but the tone results less from a surfeit of idealism than from the pressing necessity to frustrate and thwart the perpetually impending catastrophe: that the people of the Middle East will select their own polities, control their own resources, choose their own governments. Sure, the author is dreaming, but not idly so: and he's not the only one.