That Middle East Plan

This report was commissioned by Woodrow Wilson to investigate how the Middle east could be carved up… er I mean effectively administered after the Ottoman Empire dissolve. It did not gain much traction with GB or France.

From J Barrett, to inform Diogenes and Dearieme

10 thoughts on “That Middle East Plan”

  1. Thanks. I saw it on the relevant thread. It is awesome in that it seems to foresee a world where the USA underpins Israel and the Arab states, while almost supporting Turkey

  2. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    Has anyone thought of asking Turkey if they want the West Bank and Gaza back?

  3. Congress didn’t ratify the treaty. (lausanne from memory?) I recall from my studious days a contemporary cartoonist drew a blueprint for a stone bridge….all the pieces in place named, GB,France,Turkey,Soviets,… very small gap for the keystone= USA.

  4. It’s rather amusing, in a sad way, to read all this guff, so remote from reality. For example, they cheerfully discuss how chunks of Russian Armenia might be combined with Turkish Armenia to form an Armenian state under an American mandate. How in God’s name did they think they’d persuade the Reds or Whites to surrender territory to the US while the US was still fighting in Siberia and North Russia? Or maybe they thought a bargain might be struck whereby the US withdraw from those two wars and is given a chunk of Armenia in compensation? I suppose that all history that didn’t happen, but might have happened, looks far-fetched.

    The idea of an ingathering of scattered Armenians seems daring – wouldn’t it just expose them to economies of scale in a slaughter by Turks in future?

    I suppose I saw some similar guff while growing up as the remnants of Empah were abandoned. What flourishing states would arise in Africa, we were assured. The difference was, I suspect, that after WWII governments had accepted that colonies were, in general, cost centres rather than profit centres, and thus best got rid of. The guff was just cover for a hard-headed business decision.

    Anyhoo, a wonderful find – thanks, J Barrett.

  5. Thanks very much, Tim.

    That Chruchill thread was turning into a bit of a backwater, so I asked our Host to create a new one.

    This is a good example of historical Chinese whispers where kite flying becomes hard fact. I was going through the Treaty of Sevres and becoming more frustrated because I was _sure_ that the USA had sent an occupation force to Constantinople and had been offered Armenia as a mandate. The Senate (apparently) blocked the former and the latter never got past the discussion table, although the president of the USA is named as the arbiter when border disputes between Turkey and Armenia arose.

    It is academic anyway; Armenia disappeared back into the Soviet Union and Lausanne in 1923 overrode Sevres. The negotiations on the British side for Lausanne were led by Lord Curzon who was much more pragmatic and saw that a) Sevres was too harsh b) Ataturk’s victories had changed the situation completely c) The new Turkish govt was prepared to maintain free passage through the Dardanelles, which was the main UK objective.

    I am interested in this now (having “done” North Russia) and if(!) Kew ever reopens, I’ll have a look at some docs, of which there are plenty.

    It was all pointless anyway

  6. Has anyone thought of asking Turkey if they want the West Bank and Gaza back?

    This is the sort of thing that might tickle Erdogan’s fancy.
    Needless to say, it would be an unmitigated disaster.

  7. The deofesdibg thing is that all the tensions then are still tense now. Armenia is still caught between Turkey and Russia,etc etc. It’s like constantly seeing the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging from the drizzle

  8. Many of the world’s separatist problems can be solved by giving the population guns (and the ammo needed). Imv of course.
    Gawd knows why the UK once trained male Afghans in soldiering while simultaneously claiming that women’s rights needed developing, I have no idea. Just give the bints handguns (and some ammo).
    The armed society is a polite one.

  9. Well, one must certainly congratulate the US on avoiding getting involved in the Middle Eastern mess a century or so ago.

  10. Thank you for leading me to reexamine a “Republican” notion of my youth I’d all but forgotten.

    Disclaimer: Republican is in quotes to indicate I am using the modern political term for those that were actually Wilsonian-Democrats of a century ago. I’d curse shifting language but the only constant is change.

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