Monday, October 22, 2007

Keys to understanding Middle Eastern politics

Politics in the Middle East and its surrounding regions like North Africa and Saudi Arabia cannot be fully understood without the basic knowledge of the rise and fall of the Turkey-centred Ottoman Empire (1299 - 1922) which provides the historical perspective of many current issues, especially those related to religious affinity, ethnic identity and national boundary and the grievances rooted thereon. In other words, the Israel-Palestine issue is only a subset of the larger, deeper and more complicated set of Middle East problems left over from the long process of the decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Middle Eastern situation grows messy & tense

4 Comments:

Blogger kittykat46 said...

In some ways, the Middle East is still in a Post-Ottoman state, There are many areas where nation-states and national identity have not been able to fill in the vacuum left behind by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire nearly 90 years ago.
Ethnic and religious sub-groups are often the focus of loyalty.

The Western powers share a lot of the blame, through their many Imperial adventures in this region. The latest is arguably the current US occupation of Iraq.

3:19 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

can't really blame US for all the mess in the Middle East because many of the problems had alrady arisen LONG BEFORE the US began to intervene in the region in the 1950s.

3:37 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

and there was the Cold War rivalry between the US-West and the former Soviet Union - and the rise of Pan-Arab nationalism - in the region from 1947 to 1991. So, it is not all about clash between or within civilisations either.

6:40 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

and there was the Cold War rivalry between the US-led West and the former Soviet Union - and the rise of Pan-Arab nationalism - in the region from 1947 to 1991. So, it is not all about clash between or within civilisations either.

6:41 AM  

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