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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Syria Vacuum- How Middle Eastern Ultranationalists view their countries' Georgraphic Heritage.

HISTORY IN THE NEWS

Dedicated to the background of contemporary events around the world. 



IN BRIEF: "Irredentism" (from Italian irredento, "unredeemed") is any position of a state advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity or prior historical possession, actual or alleged. (Wikipedia)
 

THE FACTS: 

-Syria lies at the heart of the "Greater Syria" of Syrian nationalists and at the heart of the "Greater Iraq" of Iraqi nationalists. The southwestern corner of Syria is part of the Zionist vision of a "Greater Israel." Northern Syria would be included in a Greater Kurdistan or home country for the Kurds. An emirate, imagined by Al Qaeda (which recognizes no modern borders) would combine Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.   

The maps below suggest the aspirations of extreme nationalists or "irridentists" in various Middle Eastern nations should the region erupt in serious, all-out conflict:





The Umayyad Caliphate (cira 700 AD)- The Syrian capital, Damascus, was the seat of the Umayyads, the first Islamic Caliphate. Some in Al Qaeda and Al Nusra would doubtless dream of seeing such a Caliphate spring once again from Syria but of course that would have to be a failed state, a Syria in ruins.
 

 

Greater Syria-  "Greater Syria" or "Bilad al-Sham." According to the wesbite, Geocurrents, "Advocates of a Greater Syria dream of uniting all of the historically Arabic-speaking lands of the eastern Mediterranean. The broadest claims, with the maximal ideological justifications, are advanced by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP). The SSNP has designs on a vast territory, encompassing not just the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, but also all of Iraq and significant parts of Iran and Turkey."


 
The United Arab Republic was  a scheme more or less forced on Egyptian president Abdul Nasser in order to prevent a Communist takeover in Syria. It lasted from 1958 to 1961 before its collapse. The idea of unifying Syria with Egypt oddly coincides with the ancient Egyptian empire which stretched from Egypt, through Palestine to Syria.


Map of Greater Iran from the Arab Atlas


Greater Iran-  For Iranian ultra-nationalists, Greater Iran would embrace all ethnically Iranian and Farsi-speaking peoples. It approximates the empire of the Persian Sassanids in 600 AD. A greater Iran which erased Israel and controlled all of Palestine would conform more or less to the Persian empire at its greatest extent in about 500 BC.



Greater Iraq- "Map of a Greater Iraq as envisioned by some Iraqi nationalists. The dark green represents contemporary Iraq. The medium green represents territory both claimed by Iraqi nationalists and held by Iraq such as Kuwait under Iraqi occupation, 1990-1991) or held in union by Iraq such as its federation with Joerdan, including Jordanian control over the West Bank during the 1950s. Light green represents territory claimed by Iraqi nationalists that was not held by Iraq" (Wikipedia)






Greater Israel- as it was conceived by the World Zionist Organization in 1918. This ancient historical conception includes southern Lebanon and southwestern Syria.






Greater Kurdistan- is only an idea. It has no home state. It is only the dream of Kursdish nationalists who would form a Kurdish nation out of the border region joining Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

The graphic below shows the governance areas for the caliphate that al Qaeda has claimed it is in the process of creating through the jihads of its branches. The exact boundaries of these areas are open to discussion, but the names and general territories are as described by al Qaeda.

The "Al Qaeda Caliphate" and its "Emirates": Map from an anti-Islamist website which has also appeared on the website for Foreign Policy: (http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/category/topic/al_qaeda) : "The graphic above shows the governance areas for the caliphate that al Qaeda has claimed it is in the process of creating through the jihads of its branches. The exact boundaries of these areas are open to discussion, but the names and general territories are as described by al Qaeda". http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/02/17/confidential-letter-from-al-qaeda-told-jihadists-in-mali-to-hide-their-global-caliphate-agenda/





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