Friday, June 27, 2014

: re: Redrawn Lines Seen as No Cure in Iraq Conflict

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: barry levine 
Date: Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 8:37 AM
Subject: re: Redrawn Lines Seen as No Cure in Iraq Conflict
To: ""

To the Editor:
   Iraq was invented in 1916 by sir Mark Sykes and Francois-George Picot; no actual Iraqis were involved. Perhaps because there was a war raging at the time, no effort was spent matching the borders to ethnic or cultural divisions.  Two years later when Yugoslavia was carved from the defunct AustroHungarian empire the victors were a little more sophisticated. Note the absence of geometrically straight lines there.   In each case, ethnic tensions could be suppressed for decades by a repressive regime. In neither case did this forge a national identity.
    After WWII, a new wave of nation drawing gave us new states from Algeria to Zaire. Not all have proven to be politically or ethnically coherent. But this wave came with the enunciation of a guiding principle. The U.N. Charter celebrates the right of Peoples to self-determination. No boundary drawn on paper will solve the Sunni-Shiite rift that goes back to the death of the Prophet. But it's long, long overdue that we acknowledge that the Kurds deserve a state no less than any other People.
Barry Haskell Levine

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