Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gertrude Bell drew Iraqi borders

I find it ironic that the majority of Iraqis, especially Iraqi Arabs and nationalists, are determined to keep Iraq united, given that Gertrude Bell, with T.E. Lawrence (of "Arabia"), drew Iraq's borders.

The US occupation has been very different from the British occupation of the 20th century. The US could have split up Iraq, but left it up to the Iraqi people to decide. The British, on the other hand, combined Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra and called it Iraq. The British exploited Iraq's oil resources. The Americans have not. Incidentally, two huge oil contracts (to two European companies) were signed today in Baghdad.


Don Cox said...

The part that doesn't fit is Kurdistan, but as large parts of that "stste" are in Turkey and Iran, the Kurds are probably safer as part of Iraq. At least for the present.

The rest of Iraq is basically the old Mesopotamia which we all (including Gertrude Bell) read about in our school history books. At least it is no longer ruled by the Turks.

Have you read Gertrude Bell's letters? I have them in book form (two volumes), but I think they are all on the web.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Yes they forgot completely about Kurdistan.

No I have not read Gertrude Bell's letters. Anything interesting?