Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

New Middle East Map

with 37 comments

new-map.jpg
New Middle East Map. Credit: Ralph Peters/Chris Broz

Attention: Several people have left hostile comments on this post, some too hostile to publish. Please understand I am not proposing partitioning up anyone’s proud country, I am simply trying to illustrate that many of the regions borders do not reflect ethnic realities and that this is a source of many of the regions problems. So enough with the hostility, I am proposing debate, not war. Thank you. Doug Stych Berkeley January 16 2008

I came across this curious map in my Internet perambulations. Actually it’s just part of the map, to see the whole New Middle East Map and the original article click on the map. As one can see from the partition of Iraq into four countries, it’s a pretty radical proposal. And it’s not a joke proposal, this is a serious proposal. Though not serious as in anyone is proposing to implement it anytime soon. Serious enough though that people got touchy about it, some Turkish officers at a NATO meeting were not amused.

Ruffled NATO feathers aside, what’s the point of this map? The point is to illustrate how screwed up the borders in the Middle East are. Screwed up as in drawn by foreign colonial powers in decades and centuries past. For the benefit of…foreign colonial powers. The borders in the Middle East make little sense if we want these nations to be modern functioning nation states. In a very real sense, much of the violence and war we have seen in the Middle East now and in past decades has it’s origins in these messed up borders. Other parts of the world, especially Africa also suffers from the same unfortunate colonial legacy.

Iraq for example was cobbled together out of three completely different provinces of the Ottoman Empire. And the Sunnis, the smallest province, were put in charge. That’s how colonialism works, carve up a country and put a minority in charge. The colonial power arms the minority who run country for a price, while the colonial power extracts whatever riches resources it wants. That’s simplified of course, but it is why almost every country in Africa has a minority tribe that rules over a majority tribe. No coincidence, it was deliberate. And an endless source of ethnic strife in the post colonial world.

The map above illustrates how the Middle East would look if the borders were redrawn along more sensible ethnic lines. This in fact is a fairly good representation of where the people in the Middle east actually live. The biggest injustice illustrated is Kurdistan. The Kurds refer to themselves as the “Orphans of the Universe.” There’s about forty million of them, they have had a distinct ethnic identity for thousands of years, yet they have no country to call their own. This is one of the world’s great injustices, and it has been simmering pretty much below the radar in the western media for decades.

More to the point, this map shows how so much of the violence and terrorism in the Middle East (and by extension in Africa) is fueled by ethnic strife. Ethnic strife is far and away the biggest cause of violence and war on this planet, other types of violence including religious violence are a distant second. So if Bush was really serious about ending evil in the world, he would be calling for the maps of the Middle East and Africa to be redrawn.

Sadly I think it’s going to take a world war to accomplish that, or maybe several of them. Could that be Bush’s ultimate plan? He’s off to a good start. Centuries of warfare is how Europe and Asia got their boundaries drawn on more or less sensible lines, it’s a bleak hope but there’s at least hope that the same may one day be true for the rest of the world. Until then the violence will continue.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.
Genesis 6:11

(Use of the above map image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is central to the subject of the post, and it is an historically important image.)

Written by unitedcats

October 4, 2006 at 10:32 am

Posted in Berkeley, Bush, Iraq, Peace, Politics, War

37 Responses

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  1. Excellent post. Re-drawing the map is exactly what it will take. The dificulty, as you rightly point out, is how to accomplish that.

    Perhaps find someone with no interest whatsoever in gaining advantage from the outcome?

    Shoulung

    October 4, 2006 at 6:42 pm

  2. opps sorry but this map completely wron it will never happen

    umut

    December 18, 2006 at 8:55 am

  3. This is the most perfect map ever! If this was real like you say it would at least less war and conflicts in middle east. I am happy as a kurd to watch this fullfilled map. Thank you very much for your efforts.

    Seyithan

    October 2, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    • this is a shitty map ever made. If you kurds wants to be ruled by USA, go get a homeland in a US state. These territorries will be a graveyard for you!

      Alperen!

      August 4, 2010 at 4:14 am

      • Kurds are going to get their state.

        reidhb

        June 3, 2016 at 11:39 am

      • Mecca however is going to be the next nuclear ground zero. Thanks to Iran.

        reidhb

        June 3, 2016 at 11:41 am

  4. You write correctly about the reasons for the current borders and the aims and goals of colonialist powers such as Britain, France, etc.

    Look at IndoPakBanglaMir :- ) (India/Pakistan/Bangladesh/Kashmir). Look at the borders and see what the British wrought. Why the crazy border areas, the separation of the original East/West Pakistan, and the whole issue with Kashmir.

    But, no redrawing of any map will, on it’s own bring peace. There will always be people who feel they deserve what other people have, or will use others as scapegoats to hide their own problems. This has been the history of humanity for millenia.

    And lets not forget the prying powers from outside. The colonialism of the past has been replaced by the neo-colonialism of today. Countries like the US, France, Britain etc. don’t need to occupy nations to exert their influence and extract wealth. That’s what corporations are for?

    Look in detail at what the US is doing in Iraq, why they are pushing the Iraqi’s so hard to pass an ill-conceived (for the Iraqi’s) oil bill, why they are trying to build such a huge embassy there etc. etc.

    France sent in commandos to “remove” Jean Bertrand Aristide and keep him quiet. Anyone know where he is? Why did they do it? Was he a tyrant? No, he wanted reparations from France that were due to the Haitian people. Somewhere to the tune of 24 billion. Look it up.

    saeed

    October 11, 2007 at 7:44 pm

  5. Don’t you find it a little odd that, despite dramatically redrawing the borders of a dozen nations and creating several new ones out of whole cloth, the authors of this map couldn’t figure out what to do with the one region where both sides are actually trying to find a solution.

    That’s right, the West Bank and Gaza are left “status undetermined”.

    Jinchi

    October 26, 2007 at 5:07 pm

  6. I can understand why he didn’t want to go there, people have remarkably strong opinions on that particular border problem, and no matter what he suggested people would have accused him of being partisan. This way he is neutral on that particular issue, so it doesn’t distract from the broader point he is trying to make.

    unitedcats

    October 26, 2007 at 7:15 pm

  7. Is author want to:(beside the sale of Book):
    1- Division.
    Can he calculate How many children die….how many women get widows… How many schools destroyed….(a lot consideration if anybody think) by his stupid idea to divide Islamic world

    2- Coloring.
    Author use 5 Colors by divide Islamic world and disturb 9 counties.
    If he take U.S.A instead of Islamic world. he get a very colorful Map with 51 colors and disturb one Biggest Evil Country.

    Usman

    October 31, 2007 at 3:43 am

  8. humanity can not live if there is no dream)but some dreams can not be in this world,this map is the one of them.Turkey soon will be most powerfull country with his boron sources,evil plans on Turkey never be allowed by us.

    best regards:

    blabla

    November 11, 2007 at 11:42 am

  9. Anyone who predicted in 1985 that the Soviet Union would collapse and dozens of states would be freed or gain their independence as a result would have been laughed at by most people. I agree that an independent Kurdistan seems unlikely in the current world geopolitical scene, but stranger things have happened. There is always hope, no matter how dark the clouds may be now. —Doug

    unitedcats

    November 11, 2007 at 1:30 pm

  10. GREAT!!!!

    Rawaz

    December 24, 2007 at 4:08 pm

  11. This map is rubbish, free kurdistan on Türkiye is just a silly dream. Red color in Turkish flag is not coming from an apple, it is the blood color of our people. Turkish and Kurdish people fight against the enemy for TÜRKİYE. We have one country, one flag and democracy.

    Zafer

    December 27, 2007 at 2:02 am

    • ağzına sağlık adaş

      zafer

      March 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

  12. it is now 59 years since the Israeli-Palestenian conflict. Imagine the number of years the natives of eh newfoundlands – with their sects, religioius strifes, and animosities, – will squabble and fight alienating each other the more and remaining forever under complete hegemony of the SUPERPOWER.

    Peter Etre

    December 28, 2007 at 7:43 am

  13. the problem with this map…
    the people in each of these lands will not have it.
    the will fight to the end..
    so instead of stopping war more fighting will be the outcome..
    this is going to start a tragic war

    one who

    September 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm

  14. This map doesn’t go far enough!!

    Send the Turks back to Central Asia from whence they came.

    Still ticked off at the fall of Konstantinoupolis in 1453.

    Jeff - the Philhellene

    October 1, 2008 at 3:16 pm

  15. dEAR MAPGUY, 11-28-08
    I’M GIVING A BIBLE STUDY TOMORROW
    AND YOUR MAP SHOWS ISRAEL WHERE ABRAHAM WAS IN;IN THE BIBLE;GEN22
    ALOHA AND MAHALO/THANKS

    Eric the Red

    November 29, 2008 at 1:03 am

  16. your map isn’t realistic but mine is, Iraq must remain and it should comprise all the land which was once known as Mesopotamia, while a Kurdish and a Shiite state are inevitable and my map represents a more realistic approach to this strife.

    http://factsofiraq.tripod.com/id40.html

    Nimrod

    January 16, 2009 at 1:40 pm

  17. I want remind to everybody that lands to east from place where Euphrates and Murat rivers meet in Turkey is historical Armenia Minor (term was used in Byzantine times) and Western Armenian which is relatively new term for same territory. On the Congress of Berlin (June 13 – July 13, 1878) “Six Wilayets” of Ottoman Empire were determined as Armenian. Syria, Iraq and other Arabic states become independent. Earlier Christian states of Balkan Peninsula got independence from Ottoman Empire. New Sever Treaty (Aug. 10, 1920) defined new boundaries. Armenia included Van(capital of Urartu an ancient Armenian kingdom and Vaspurakan medieval Armenian kingdom), Mush, Erzurum and some other historically Armenian cities. Kurdish state was to south. Unfortunately it was not implemented.
    After new partition of Middle East Trabzon, Erzurum, Erzican, Arapkir, Sason, Van (Western Armenian territories) and Nakhichevan with Karabakh (Eastern Armenian territories) have to be returned to Armenia. Northern border of Kurdistan is Hakkari and Batman provinces. West coast of Turkey with united Cyprus is part of Greece. Hatay and Diyarbakir is part of Syria.

    Andrew

    February 11, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  18. The so called “British empire” in the 19th and early 19th century created the conflicts that we see today all over the world. They gathered the Jews from everywhere and helped them to drive Arabs from Palestine, the result is the current conflict for over 60 years.
    The same satanic Empire created Kashimer to guarantee an endless conflict between India and Pakistan until today.

    So if the US is going to repeat the same deadly mistakes that the Brits did, then it is going to be another century or more of new conflicts and killings all over the region.

    But with the fall down of their Economy, they become now under the mercy of the wealthy states in the Gulf to boost their collapsing economy!!
    So it is better to wipe this imaginary map, and leave the region to its people..

    Oberver

    April 17, 2009 at 10:52 am

  19. I think such a map is needed but for that to happen, something like world war 3 must start!

    Ari

    August 1, 2009 at 1:20 am

  20. my map is better and more realistic than this one.

    Nimrod

    August 2, 2009 at 12:55 am

  21. I have better plan for stopping war not only in middle east but also everywhere else. just close your arms manufacturings. I know that is impossible because you guys feed of that and also of the cheap materials like oil from resources of middle east and other regions. plz stop being so kind. we have seen your kindness in Korea and Vietnam and many other places on this planet.

    Toofaan

    August 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm

  22. Kurds are the good friends of America & this map is great!!!

    viva America & Kurdistan

    May 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

  23. I think not , Kurds love Iran and they take orders from Iran

    this is the one and only true map and flag of the state of Iraq

    http://stateofiraq.blogspot.com/

    Nimrod

    May 17, 2010 at 4:24 am

  24. VERRY BAD
    FU

  25. That s ridiculous. Forever Turkey. we ll die for each inches of those lands. 80 millions to die if you dare.

    Hakan

    June 20, 2010 at 11:53 am

  26. we dont know why this changing will happend and why
    please one to give an answer

    Na

    August 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

    • This is just a map made for discussion only, none of the changes on it are likely to happen. It’s just to show that borders don’t really reflect the reality.
      —Doug

      unitedcats

      August 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm

  27. I wondered!!! Then will Tabriz be Kurd?!!! Tabriz is the center of south Azerbaijan (Iran Azerbaijan)!!!!!!

    dellsmc

    October 19, 2010 at 2:39 pm

  28. Iraq needs to be split into Arab Shia State, Sunni Republic, Kurdistan, and Assyria. Israel should get more land

    Macontash

    March 3, 2011 at 2:55 pm

  29. No one we get any of that …keep that in your dream and take it with you to the grave …you have to read the history with an open eyes and open mind …

    Safouh Ashour

    October 24, 2011 at 6:04 pm

  30. Israel has enough land and they could always take Jordan, Iraq needs to remain a state and a Shiite state called Shiiteistan and a Kurdish state that comprises of Sulymaniah, Erbil and Dohuk ONLY.

    Nimrod

    October 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

  31. This map is world war 3
    Turkey vs Kurdistan ?

    Russia & China & Germany & Turkey & İran & Korea & Japan & Azerbaycan ? & ? & ?
    VS
    United States & İsrael & France & Greek & Kurdistan & Armenia ? & ? & ? ? & ? & ? ? & ? & ? ? & ?

    Commando

    February 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

  32. […] map,” and it looks pretty random to me. I’m willing to bet though, that like my proposed map of the Middle East post, sooner or later a commenter will think it’s completely serious and take great umbrage. Stay […]


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