If the West hadn't got involved in the Middle East...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Bravo_Bravo, Sep 3, 2017.

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  1. We were pretty rapidly hustled out of South Arabia/Aden in 1967. The successor government became a 'Peoples Republic' and eventually merged with North Yemen. The latter was never colonised. No colonisation yet Yemen seems to be having a fairly torrid time of things lately without the ability to blame anyone else for causing it(bar Saudis/Iran exacerbating things).

    Imaging if Britain had Palestine as a mandate, but didn't draw up the BD, would the Holocaust not have caused a huge influx anyway? Zionists tried colonisation from late 19th century.

    Big picture: Ottomans had control of the region for 4 centuries, UK/France for 4 decades, who has had the more lasting legacy of poor governance, little rule of law and economic stagnation? India is a shining example compared to most countries of ME.

    Am I taking this discussion too seriously?
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  2. I kind of sympathize with both sides of this argument. It is in essence a counterfactual history question, so doesn't really fit in the Current Affairs category (despite the link to what China said) nor does it quite fit into Analysis.

    However, I do think that questions like this are worth considering and can provide some interesting insights and views. Because it involves speculating about long-term potential future outcomes if events had been different, I don't think it quite fits into the History category either. Maybe a new forum covering (serious-ish) "What If ..." scenarios would be useful?

    The question is rather difficult to pin down as well. The "West" has been interfering in the Middle East in one form or another for a very long time, and vice versa. Neither GW1 nor GW2 occured in an economic, political and historical vacuum. Any action, or inaction, counts as interference on a global scale - should, for example, the West have decided to remove all economic sanctions from all ME countries?
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  3. Precisely so, when have the "west", the Middle East and North Africa not been closely interlinked?
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  4. We are heading towards an obvious conclusion, which results from a key flaw in the Sykes-Picot planning, and our earlier Bliar folly in support of Bush in 2003. Following the kicking that Sadaam regularly gave the Kurds, and similar sentiment that successive Turkish rulers and Iranian oppression have offered the minority Kurdish populations in their countries, the Syrian civil war brought a new dynamic. Essentially the growth of Daesh had several roots, including the demonised Baathists of Sadaam's era, but its early domination in Northern Iraq and Syria followed other ME catalysts stemming from the Arab Spring.

    The resultant battle successes against Daesh were predominantly led by the Kurdish Peshmerga (at least in Iraq after the Iraqi Army legged it back to Baghdad), whilst supported by various allies including the US and the UK. The chaos that emerged from Operation Iraqi Freedom, had also exposed a crucial geopolitical flaw in Sykes and Picot's plan (one amongst many), as the Kurds were previously stitched up after the Ottomans were defeated, and initially promised a chunk of Turkey in the original treaty of 1920, which was then snatched away by the Treaty of Lausanne three years later.
    Sykes Picot Agreement | The Kurdish Project

    The Arabs had also seen their own hopes dashed post war by the allies, reneging on Arab independence and autonomy after they'd given their support to defeat the Ottoman Empire (Days of Lawrence and all that). It's a century on from that divisive allied plan (i.e. principally engineered as an Anglo-French stitch up prior to the of end WW1), that's been compounded by the US / UK geopolitical folly creating kinetic mayhem in the region for 12+ years.

    It's for certain that the Kurds will not let this go, not this time! They may even find the US is prepared to back their play, as Trump has his eye on ratcheting up the pressure on Iran, and a fairly strong alliance has been created with the Kurds who've proved their worth against Daesh. An independent Kurdish nation would provide a useful tactical base for US forces in the region.
    Iraq parliament rejects Kurdish independence referendum
  5. What seems indisputable is that the ME does not need the West to find an excuse to have serious go at each other.

    The thread’s creator need not do quite so much self flagellation...on our behalf.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    They now do it with western weapons!