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This sound like Left-wing Utopianism

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

Submitted by Michael S (United States), May 12, 2016 at 18:46

Daniel, I'm puzzled by your statement:

"Sykes-Picot has a lesson for the present day, a simple and important one: foreign powers must not attempt unilaterally to decide the fate of distant regions..."

What on earth are you talking about? This looks like ultra-Left-Wing Utopianism, something I hadn't realized that you stood for. Are you suggesting that the US stop helping Israel? that China should be allowed to monopolize the South China Sea? that Ukraine and Georgia be handed over to the Russians? that North Korea be allowed to attack the South... and proceed to nuke Japan? How far do you propose that this "foreign power" should retreat? Should we give up our rights to the Grand Bank fishing ground? It's farther from Washington, DC to Alaska, than it is from London to Baghdad. Should we cede Alaska to, say, Japan? Must Russia be divided into three countries because its regions are too "distant" from one another? What is this nonesense, coming out of that smart head of yours? I frankly don't get it.

Need I also say, that what Sykes and Picot did, with Russian and Greek connivance, was not "unilateral"? Neither, for that matter, were the interventions in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, the Congo, or just about any war nowadays. We live in a "multilateral" world; and the world of Sykes and Picot was just as "multilateral". Weren't Britain, France, Italy and many others at war with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria and friends? How can anything that happened during that time (or our time, for that matter) be considered "unilateral"?

The Sykes-Picot agreement did not cause the Turks, Kurds and Iranians to attack the Armenians and Assyrians; they did not cause the Saudis to overthrow the Hashemites; and they did not cause the war between the Turks and Greeks. If the British and French had abandoned the region to the Arabs, would there be peace today? Would the Sunnis not be fighting against the Shi'ites? Would there be no civil war in Yemen? Would Afghanistan be a haven of bliss under the Taliban? Would Darfur be an oasis of peace? Most importantly, would Jews somehow be able to live peacably in their ancestral homeland, if it weren't for Sykes and Picot?

I fail to get the point of what you said.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

I am not counseling isolationism. I am saying that unilaterally fixing borders and trying to fix countries does not and will not work.

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