All posts tagged: middle east

The Sykes-Picot Agreement: What Is It? Why Should We Care?

When Vladimir Lenin derides a secret treaty as the machination of “colonial thieves”, there is an incentive to dig a bit further. However, to examine such a document, one must consider how it was situated contextually while extracting the minutiae, structure, tone, and shape it takes on. The Sykes-Picot agreement was first leaked by the ever-scheming ogeavda, and the tepid wording of its contents engendered a legacy of post-occupational strife, subversion, and unrest. It would be speculative of this work to attribute every instance of tension to the treaty, although some of its provisions were to have ingrained ramifications for the Middle East. Bearing this in mind, is the colonial legacy of Sykes-Picot still present in Iraq or Syria, and how does this inform, complement, or crystallize our understanding of the communiqué itself? The Sykes-Picot Agreement has its early formation in the British and French enticement of belligerents in the Arab Revolt (June 1916), promising independent Arab states in exchange for the extrication of Ottoman influence. Mark Sykes, the designer of the Revolt’s flag of …

The Wars To Come: The Future Of Iraq

Earlier this month the last ISIS stronghold has been overrun by coalition forces in the Middle East. While Kurds, Syrians, and Iraqis alike may rejoice in their victory over crazed fanatics, this is not the end of the bloodshed, the misery, and the depravity of the Middle East. For there are many questions still lingering in the realm of the Middle East: There is the Kurdish question, that is, do Kurdish forces have the right to self-determination in constructing their own state? There is the Iraqi question, that is, how will the Sunni north react to the Shia government of Iraq? There is the Syrian question, that is, how and when will the conflict end? In the face of these questions, the penultimate one is: What is the future of the Middle East? One of the principle victories of the coalition intervention of 2003, executed by then-President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair under the guise of American exceptionalism and liberation, was the establishment of a semi-autonomous Kurdish state in the northern area of …