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why not work together?

Reader comment on item: The "Shocking Document" that Shaped the Middle East Turns 100

Submitted by Anne Julienne (Australia), May 9, 2016 at 22:31

Regarding the "broader redrawing" of the region's map, this is obviously not something that foreign powers could do on their own as Sykes and Picot did. However, surely it is consistent with helping adults succeed to sit down at the table and negotiate a new way forward. After all, we're all affected by the ME unrest. The local Arabs (and Muslims) are not taking in the Syrian refugees, after all. The burden is falling on Europe and other Western nations.

Even though I have little trust or confidence in the UN, it would seem to me to be one way to proceed, to have joint discussions on how to redraw the ME map. Not all players could be included, for ISIS surely could not. It might be hard to get the Arabs and Muslims to accept having Israel at the table. However, it doesn't make sense to me to just leave it to the Arab League, to the OIC, or to any other local or international body that fails to include Israel (especially) and the rest of us (in some form).

The kind of non-consultative decision making embodied in the Sykes-Picot accord was - and largely still is - the way human beings do things when they have the power to do it. It is very very recent to expect things to be otherwise and the expectation, even now, is very very limited in its geopolitical scope.

I don't think we should be beating ourselves up over it so much.


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