THE BLACK KETTLE

Proverbs 21:30

The Foul Legacy of Sykes-Picot

by Daniel Pipes

The Sykes-Picot accord that has shaped and distorted the modern Middle East was signed one hundred years ago, on May 16, 1916. In the deal, Mark Sykes for the British and François Georges-Picot for the French, with the Russians participating too, allocated much of the region, pending the minor detail of their defeating the Central Powers in World War I.

Sykes-Picot (official name: the Asia Minor Agreement) bears recalling because its profound two mistakes are in danger of being repeated: one concerned form and the other substance.

Form: Negotiated in secret by three European imperial powers, it became the great symbol of European perfidy. Not surprisingly, the Allied Powers secretly carving up the central Middle East without consulting its inhabitants prompted an outraged response (George Antonius, writing in 1938: “a shocking document … the product of greed at its worst … a startling piece of double-dealing”). Sykes-Picot set the stage for the proliferation of a deeply consequential conspiracy-mentality that ever since has afflicted the region.

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May 11, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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