After dealing with the equality of men and the difference of cultures, and then reminding us that we distrust people we do not know, the author discusses four aspects of the Middle East: the colonial creation of states; the need for people to hide their leaders; the sense of time; and the political use of religion.
This article is a follow-up to :
“Understanding International Relations (1/2)“, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, August 18, 2020.
The Great Mosque of Damascus is the only place of worship in the world where every day for centuries Jews, Christians and Muslims have prayed to the same one God.
A historical region, artificially divided
Contrary to popular belief, no one really knows what the Levant, the Near East or the Middle East is. These terms have different meanings depending on the times and political situations.
However, today’s Egypt, Israel, the State of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the Gulf principalities have several millennia of common history. Yet their political division dates back to the First World War. It is due to the secret agreements negotiated in 1916 between Sir Mark Sykes (British Empire), François Georges-Picot (French Empire) and Sergei Sazonov (Russian Empire). This draft treaty had fixed the division of the world between the three great powers of the time for the post-war period. However, as the Tsar had been overthrown and the war did not go as hoped, the draft treaty was only applied in the Middle East by the British and French alone under the name of the “Sykes-Picot agreements”. They were revealed by the Bolsheviks, who opposed the Tsarists, notably by challenging the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) and helping their Turkish ally (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk).
From all this, it emerges that the inhabitants of this region form a single population, composed of a multitude of different peoples, present everywhere and closely intermingled. Each current conflict is a continuation of past battles. It is impossible to understand current events without knowing the previous episodes.
For example, the Lebanese and the Syrians of the coast are Phoenicians. They commercially dominated the ancient Mediterranean and were overtaken by the people of Tyre (Lebanon) who created the greatest power of the time,