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Berlin Conference 1884

Reader comment on item: The "Shocking Document" that Shaped the Middle East Turns 100
in response to reader comment: 'Perfidity"?

Submitted by SAKOVKT (United States), May 13, 2016 at 11:48

Flip side, is the "Scramble for Africa" and all the European efforts to settle colonial disputes by rules and negotiation.
This was the beginning of the "League of Nations".
Had Europe of the late 19th Century survived the World Wars, agreements like Sykes-Picot would have left the Middle East under Imperial Rule and it's doubtful that any of the Imperial Powers would have tolerated the violence going on, now.
It is fashionable to blame Colonialism, today.
But, understood as it was in its day, everything from the Berlin Conference to Sykes-Picot were how things were done, even on the European Continent, as with the Rumanian Question of Bismarck's time.
And, in fact, what has really changed?
Nothing prevents the existing powers of the Middle East to redraw their borders and they are, in the same "perfidious" manner that the Europeans draw them and even their own borders throughout time.
The Sunni and Shiite Iraqis don't like the Kurds, but they do like their oil?

The Israelis and "Palestinians" argue about the Letters of Correspondence versus the Balfour Declaration as though Britain were still governing the region?

Everybody wants peace, but on their terms, which is what the wars are all about.
Both sides will drag up anything to justify their causes.
We might laugh at the complex inheritance claims European Aristocrats used in things like the War of the Julich Succession, but things really aren't all that much different, today.

Diplomacy has never settled any contention of this magnitude.
The U.N. or Arab-Israeli Peace Talks stand as contemporary evidence that it probably never will.


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