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It's 1918 in the Middle East and you get to draw the boundries!

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  • It's 1918 in the Middle East and you get to draw the boundries!

    How do you do it differently?
    Which new states spring into being? Which states are scrapped? Who gets boundries moved?

    My list
    Main Goal: Break larger nations up, into smaller more defendable united nations.
    #1 Kurdistan: Chopping off bits of Northern Iraq/Syria, Western Iran, and Southern Turkey, I split this new nation off right here.

    #2 Israel Modern borders maybe split the Golan heights to make it costly for Israel or Syria to move. Give them Gaza and Jerusalem to start. more defendable position.

    #3 Turn Lebanon into Southern Lebanon, giving it mainly the Christian areas.

    #4 Adding the coastal cities of Syria and Northern Lebanon and their Shiite/Christian population to a new Levant based nation, leaving Syria as a Damascus Sunnii based nation.

    #5 Create a greater Armenia out of a portion of Eastern Turkey.

    #6 Create Istanbul as a International city and give Greece the European section of Turkey.

    #7 Add the Druze section of Southern Syria to Jordan.

    #8 Create a Sunnii nation out of South East Iran.

    #9 Create a Greek speaking nation out of Western Turkey.

    #10 Create a Cirassian homeland in Northern Turkey.

    Any other ideas for creating a more peaceful Middle East?

    Critiques of my ideas?
    Not to mention the whole problem of a weakened Turkey is a weaker buffer to USSR post 1945.

    Obviously any attempt now to fix borders are way too late. But Prior to 1918 there were no real borders.

    Resources:
    http://joshberer.files.wordpress.com...uistic-map.jpg
    http://mappery.com/maps/Middle-East-...sition-Map.jpg

  • #2
    Leave it for the Turks to sort out, but insist they accept Jewish migrants.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
      Leave it for the Turks to sort out, but insist they accept Jewish migrants.
      You basically leave the Ottoman empire as is under Ataturk or the Sultanate. Considering the massacres of Armenians Greeks and Kurds in Turkey is that such a wise decision?

      Would not the goal be a more peaceful middle east?

      While I applaud Ataturk's secularism I do not think in any way in the post WW I world leaving a intact Ottoman empire would be possible, not to mention all of the "good work" Ataturk did (abolishing the Caliphate, secularizing the government etc...) would not happen due to the Ottoman empire still existing.

      In spite of Ataturk's encouragement of the murder of Greeks, Armenians and Kurds, an intact Ottoman empire had a far worse history of genocide. Prior to breaking it up it had just murdered hundreds of thousands of Armenians, if not millions.

      That would be like keeping the Nazi's in power after WW2.

      And Ataturk was no peace lover himself, his campaign against the Greeks was brutal.

      Also how does one force an empire with a history of genocide into allowing Jewish imigration.

      Not to mention the Sauis and Jordanians who supported the Allies would have felt quite betrayed and been next on the Ottoman hitlist.
      Last edited by niikeb; 01 May 12, 09:52.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by niikeb View Post
        How do you do it differently?
        Which new states spring into being? Which states are scrapped? Who gets boundries moved?
        Question is- what am I aspiring to?
        My personal interest (as a Brit that is)? Peace in the region regardless of human rights? Relative peace in the region with maximum regards to human rights?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Golani View Post
          Question is- what am I aspiring to?
          My personal interest (as a Brit that is)? Peace in the region regardless of human rights? Relative peace in the region with maximum regards to human rights?
          Very fair point.

          I guess one would state which desires are which. I personally tried to lower the amount of "opressed minorities" in the region while breaking up nations that could create an unbalanced situation.

          I think for every individual an improved middle east would be different. I think some issues would be global such as reducing suffering and war, but those as you say are tradeoffs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Something similar to this:



            However Israel should get the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinians should be deported back to their respective homelands, and the Sinai should go to the Bedouins.
            A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

            Comment


            • #7
              From my point of view as a Brit? Hold egypt and enough of Sinai to act as protection to the canal keep hold of Iraq and Kuwait for the oil. Give the rest including the religous theme park to the French.
              "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

              Comment


              • #8
                Paint the sands Pink!
                Task Force Regenbogen- Support and Paras

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by niikeb View Post
                  You basically leave the Ottoman empire as is under Ataturk or the Sultanate. Considering the massacres of Armenians Greeks and Kurds in Turkey is that such a wise decision?
                  Maybe not, but is wiser than the Sykes-Picot dismemberment than Britain and France perpetrated. During WWI, more promises were made to ethnic groups within the Ottoman empire than could be realistically realised in any postwar settlement.
                  Would not the goal be a more peaceful middle east?
                  You're suggesting that the Turks had no interest in maintaining a peaceful empire. While their European possessions were disappearing at a vast rate due to rampant nationalism, the Asian part wasn't quite as ravaged.
                  While I applaud Ataturk's secularism I do not think in any way in the post WW I world leaving a intact Ottoman empire would be possible, not to mention all of the "good work" Ataturk did (abolishing the Caliphate, secularizing the government etc...) would not happen due to the Ottoman empire still existing.

                  In spite of Ataturk's encouragement of the murder of Greeks, Armenians and Kurds, an intact Ottoman empire had a far worse history of genocide. Prior to breaking it up it had just murdered hundreds of thousands of Armenians, if not millions.

                  That would be like keeping the Nazi's in power after WW2.
                  I'm aware of this. While in no way condoning what the Turks did, their response was predictable, if massively OTT. The Armenians had been supporting the invading Russian forces, making the Armenians enemies of the state. Their removal from the Caucasus Front war zone would have been a given no matter who was in charge.

                  However, setting up states with no means of self-support is also asking for trouble. Armenia would likely have been absorbed into the Communist Armenia, and I can see Kurdistan as being a similar tempting target. Even the Persian empire might have been tempted to "have a go". Handing them over to either Britain or France as a LoN mandate would have been imperialism all over again. Something President Wilson was against.
                  And Ataturk was no peace lover himself, his campaign against the Greeks was brutal.
                  This was a debacle brought on the Greeks by themselves. Check out the Greco-Turkish war for how to overplay a reasonable hand. The Greeks were not entirely innocent either.
                  Also how does one force an empire with a history of genocide into allowing Jewish imigration.
                  The Jews in the Ottoman empire were treated considerably better than their European counterparts. There were no pogroms of Jews in the Ottoman empire. They would have been safe.
                  Not to mention the Sauis and Jordanians who supported the Allies would have felt quite betrayed and been next on the Ottoman hitlist.
                  Okay - Arab control of the Holy Cities and Transjordan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                    Maybe not, but is wiser than the Sykes-Picot dismemberment than Britain and France perpetrated. During WWI, more promises were made to ethnic groups within the Ottoman empire than could be realistically realised in any postwar settlement.
                    Agreed, a weakened Ottoman Empire would have been immediatly hit by internal revolution. Not to mention the British and the French may have immediatly made a play for Transjordan, Syria, and Iraq since they had some major interests in the area.
                    You're suggesting that the Turks had no interest in maintaining a peaceful empire. While their European possessions were disappearing at a vast rate due to rampant nationalism, the Asian part wasn't quite as ravaged.
                    Discounting the Arabs and Armenians and Kurds. Which accounts for pretty much everything they had left in 1918.
                    I'm aware of this. While in no way condoning what the Turks did, their response was predictable, if massively OTT. The Armenians had been supporting the invading Russian forces, making the Armenians enemies of the state. Their removal from the Caucasus Front war zone would have been a given no matter who was in charge.
                    Any defeated nation with such a history of OTT responses would not have survived long before it was chopped up aka East/West Germany and removal of East Prussia into Poland.
                    However, setting up states with no means of self-support is also asking for trouble. Armenia would likely have been absorbed into the Communist Armenia, and I can see Kurdistan as being a similar tempting target. Even the Persian empire might have been tempted to "have a go". Handing them over to either Britain or France as a LoN mandate would have been imperialism all over again. Something President Wilson was against.
                    Germany lost it's African Posessions, and Austria Hungary was broken up. I agree that any new nations would have to start as British/French/Italian/American mandates. Greece itself was a Euro Mandate for years post independance. Most Nations in Africa got their start this way. I don't think this was the worst system of all time in spite of Wilson's complaints. I see no reason why Syria is any more sustainable than Kurdistan. And the only reason Turkey or Greater Armenia would survive agaisnt the USSR is because of US support and threat.
                    This was a debacle brought on the Greeks by themselves. Check out the Greco-Turkish war for how to overplay a reasonable hand. The Greeks were not entirely innocent either.
                    Agreed, possibly the stupidest way to mess up winning a war is to lose another war right after. They were planning on a lot more support from the allies than they got. They had a very good hand, and they totally botched it and wound up with far less than they would have had by maintaining the peace. One could write a book on how badly they screwed up. But it still shows that Turkey was not above ethnic massacre.
                    The Jews in the Ottoman empire were treated considerably better than their European counterparts. There were no pogroms of Jews in the Ottoman empire. They would have been safe.
                    Remember though, Zionism is starting to become a major force. Not to mention that there is no real idea who an Ottoman Empire would have sided with during WW2. They may have prompted a Russian invasion by siding with Germany. Not to mention that post WW2 Israel would have happened.
                    Okay - Arab control of the Holy Cities and Transjordan
                    Agreed


                    Originally posted by Destroyer25 View Post
                    Something similar to this:



                    However Israel should get the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinians should be deported back to their respective homelands, and the Sinai should go to the Bedouins.
                    Agreed on the Bedouin gaining Sinai.
                    A single greater Lebanon would be nice.
                    In 1918 Eastern Turkey was heavily Greek so I would still keep that, with Istanbul as a international city ala Vatican Rome.
                    I would shrink greater Jordan to the south slightly and give it the Druze part of Southern Syria.
                    The Saudis would probably still gain the Holy places.
                    I like splitting Sunii and Shia Iraq into 2 But I think Shia Iraq etends too far down the coast and Iran would gobble that up asap.
                    Afghanistan seems too large for such a problem area.

                    Still great thoughts all around!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by niikeb View Post
                      Very fair point.

                      I guess one would state which desires are which. I personally tried to lower the amount of "opressed minorities" in the region while breaking up nations that could create an unbalanced situation.

                      I think for every individual an improved middle east would be different. I think some issues would be global such as reducing suffering and war, but those as you say are tradeoffs.
                      In which case my scenario would look very similar to what Dest25 posted (IIRC the map is by Ralph Peters) with the following differences-

                      1. The state of Israel is erected on the entire territory of mandatory Palestine (i.e modern Israel and Jordan), Jordan therefore doesn't exist.

                      2. Saudi Arabia is the "only" gift given to the Bedouins for their mutiny. Bedouins from all over the region (Mainly Sinai and mandatory Palestine) are encouraged to move there.

                      3. Lebanon does not exist. It is part of Syria. The Christian minority should be encouraged to immigrate to Israel.

                      4. Modern Iraq should be broken into Sunni and Shia, OTOH it can't be ruled by Bedouins (i.e the Faysel family as was historically) but it also can't be swallowed up by greater Syria, that's a toughy....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Golani View Post
                        In which case my scenario would look very similar to what Dest25 posted (IIRC the map is by Ralph Peters) with the following differences-

                        1. The state of Israel is erected on the entire territory of mandatory Palestine (i.e modern Israel and Jordan), Jordan therefore doesn't exist.

                        2. Saudi Arabia is the "only" gift given to the Bedouins for their mutiny. Bedouins from all over the region (Mainly Sinai and mandatory Palestine) are encouraged to move there.

                        3. Lebanon does not exist. It is part of Syria. The Christian minority should be encouraged to immigrate to Israel.

                        4. Modern Iraq should be broken into Sunni and Shia, OTOH it can't be ruled by Bedouins (i.e the Faysel family as was historically) but it also can't be swallowed up by greater Syria, that's a toughy....
                        1. Fair point, I went forward knowing that Jordan would be a sucessful state, but in 1918 that was not apparent.
                        2. and 4a Agreed that planting the Faysel family in Jordan and Iraq was a major gamble that worked in Jordan and failed in Iraq.
                        3. While I find the Idea of a sucessful Jewish Christian state in Transjordan appealing, I am not sure if it would work. I would also include the Druze areas of Southern Syria and the Christian areas of Southern Lebanon if I were to take that route.
                        4. I think Iraq is the most obvious problem with British/French map drawing mixed with wholesale bribes. One major problem with Sunii Iraq is the lack of resources which would possibly lead to them getting eaten up. But maybe if it had been it's own nation from the start it would have had a better chance.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by niikeb View Post
                          1. Fair point, I went forward knowing that Jordan would be a sucessful state, but in 1918 that was not apparent.
                          Depends on what you call a successful state, but in any case, the 1 and only basis for their sovereignty is the British bribery of the Hashemite family.
                          3. While I find the Idea of a sucessful Jewish Christian state in Transjordan appealing, I am not sure if it would work. I would also include the Druze areas of Southern Syria and the Christian areas of Southern Lebanon if I were to take that route.
                          Indeed, Jabel Druze and the Golan Heights.

                          The state of Israel would still be a Jewish state, but it will also supply safe haven for other persecuted minorities.
                          4. I think Iraq is the most obvious problem with British/French map drawing mixed with wholesale bribes. One major problem with Sunii Iraq is the lack of resources which would possibly lead to them getting eaten up. But maybe if it had been it's own nation from the start it would have had a better chance.
                          Iraq as a whole is quite the sore. Aside for obvious things (oil) the Shia half borders Iran and the Sunni half borders Syria. There's quite a possibility for them to be swallowed by said countries.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Golani View Post
                            Depends on what you call a successful state, but in any case, the 1 and only basis for their sovereignty is the British bribery of the Hashemite family.
                            Well looking back, it has caused less problems than most. But yes it is not a historic country.
                            Indeed, Jabel Druze and the Golan Heights.

                            The state of Israel would still be a Jewish state, but it will also supply safe haven for other persecuted minorities.
                            That would have been possible even up to 1946, but would have required a full fledged British participation in the founding of Israel.
                            Also in 1918 it would have been almost impossible to know that the Holocaust would have displanted so many Jews to Israel.
                            In 1918 there would not have been enough Jews in the area to sucessfully create a Jewish state even if it was just the 1947 mandate.
                            Best case scenario for a Judeo Christian state would have been British Mandate with intention of creating one, aka no Immigration White papers.
                            Iraq as a whole is quite the sore. Aside for obvious things (oil) the Shia half borders Iran and the Sunni half borders Syria. There's quite a possibility for them to be swallowed by said countries.
                            Quite a pickle, but if anything the Kurdish north did not (and does not) belong in Iraq.
                            A Syria + Sunni Iraq would probably balance nicely in the region, but if Iran Gobbled up the Shiia Iraq, that would create a major power player in the region (not that Iran is not already a Major power player). Of course if the CIA kept it's nose out of Iran, maybe greater Iran could have become the moderate democratic beacon of the Middle East.
                            Still, Iraq is Arab and not Persian, maybe Shiia Iraq could have survived.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by niikeb View Post
                              That would have been possible even up to 1946, but would have required a full fledged British participation in the founding of Israel.
                              Also in 1918 it would have been almost impossible to know that the Holocaust would have displanted so many Jews to Israel.
                              In 1918 there would not have been enough Jews in the area to sucessfully create a Jewish state even if it was just the 1947 mandate.
                              Best case scenario for a Judeo Christian state would have been British Mandate with intention of creating one, aka no Immigration White papers.
                              You got a little mixed up here.

                              I agree that the Jewish population in Israel as of 1918 would have been insufficient to settle both banks of the Jordan. I disagree about settling the west side of it, let alone the 1947 borders.

                              Even excluding the Holocaust, a free pass into Israel would have brought many Jews over here.

                              Also, I can't see why there would be a need for a British mandate to help create the state.
                              Quite a pickle, but if anything the Kurdish north did not (and does not) belong in Iraq.
                              Or Turkey.
                              A Syria + Sunni Iraq would probably balance nicely in the region, but if Iran Gobbled up the Shiia Iraq, that would create a major power player in the region (not that Iran is not already a Major power player). Of course if the CIA kept it's nose out of Iran, maybe greater Iran could have become the moderate democratic beacon of the Middle East.
                              Still, Iraq is Arab and not Persian, maybe Shiia Iraq could have survived.
                              I don't submit to the "Iranian-Arab controversy is superior to all" theory. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas all ganged up on Israel very nicely, leaving behind not only the Persian/Arab thing, but also the Shia (Iran&Hezbollah)- Sunni (Hamas)- Alawit (Syria) thing.

                              Now, imagine a Kurdistan that borders a Shia Iraq and an Iran. I can easily see it leading to a unification (even springing from a temporary alliance) of the 2 to take Kurdistan out. I'm not even talking about all the other dangers that loom out for them.

                              Indeed, Kurdistan would face some very similar challenges we face.

                              Comment

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