Advanced countries have long resolved the debate over the state and its system: The republics are republics, kingdoms are kingdoms, and change, when it happens, targets the rule, not the state or the system itself. But in the Arab countries, the nature of the “state” is still a matter of contention.Some wanted a “unity,” in which mainly the Levant countries that were created by the colonial powers would merge. Others wanted regionalism that is fortified with sectarianism. Between these two desires, some started justifying the colonial “interest” by finding fake historical justifications to consecrate the de facto states.There’s no historical state called Iraq, nor one called Syria, or Lebanon. Those words were used to describe locations, not national identities. Also, there was no state in the Arabian Peninsula, nor on the shores of the Gulf extending from Shatt al-Arab to the Strait of Hormuz, where three countries Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar were established, as well as Oman, which always had different features.Babylon is not today’s Iraq. The Hittites and the Assyrians did not have a “state” — in today’s sense of the word: a specific political entity — even though they had swept the whole Levant and expanded their empires by occupying other peoples’ lands.In the era before Islam, the Levant — specifically most of the so-called “Fertile Crescent,” i.e., Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and part of today’s Iraq — came under the rule of the Greeks, then the Romans, then the Byzantines. When Islam came and spread in the entire Arab region, the state of Islam under the Umayyad dynasty was an empire whose capital was Damascus. Then, with the Abbasid state, the capital became Baghdad. Then the caliphate withered away and was inherited by the Mamluks and the Seljuks, till the Ottoman dynasty came and built their empire under the Islamic banner and the Ottoman sultan.The “states” that we know in the Levant are less than a hundred years old. They were established by colonial powers and weren’t created, in their current borders, by the will of their people, but rather according to the interests of foreign countries that have dominated the region after the defeat of Turkey and Germany in World War I.
A must read for all those who never go further than
“geez… again those damn mad people killing each other!”
… spread please.