Monday, December 14, 2009

Ralph Peters: Remaking the Middle East

Ralph Peters invented the 'New Middle East'  map a few years ago, but I've only just found it.

It's imaginative, but, almost by definition, is a neocon colonialists' answer to 'Middle East Problems'.

Split 'em up.

He managed to piss off everybody:
- Saudi Arabia: split off between an expanded Yemen, Iraqi Shia State, and Jordan, plus an Islamic Sacred State roughly corresponding to the old Hejaz. (Mind you, I don't mind too much if those nasty Najdis get confined to Riyadh and a large expanse of sand).

- Turkey, Syria and Iran separated by a new Kurdish entity. (Which I would favour)

- Pakistan reduced by a new state of Baluchistan, and an expanded Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a failed state by anyone's criteria. So why make it bigger?   It is remarkably facile to show Afghanistan taking over northern Pakistan and Kashmir on this map

Well, I suppose it is to get the Pashtun/Pathans  into one state, not Pakistan, which is mostly Punjabi.

But the Pashtun will be fighting the Tajiks, Hazara and Uzbeks in the north for evermore. Just as they are doing now, as the 'Taliban', while the 'NATO forces' blunder about like wallies, or quietly declare Victory and withdraw.
And Baluchistan? No-one knows much about it, except that it one of dryest, hottest and most mountainous places anywhere on earth. It's already the source of the CIA-funded attacks by the Jundullah, a Sunni adversary of Iran's Shi'a majority in Iran's south-east. Baluchistan is reported to be the target of the next US drone attacks on Pakistan.

Quite how they will separate out the 'Quetta Shura' of Taliban leaders from the rest of the over half a million inhabitants of the city, is a different matter. I don't suppose they care very much..

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