The Islamic Jihad Few Remember
History is usually not the strongest point with many Americans. And few know that WWI was actually the largest organized crusade for Islamic Jihad against Christian Europe during the last century. During the Middle Ages many know of the Islamic control of Europe, especially in Europe, but Americans know far less about the conflict between the Islamic and Christian world. This last organized crusade against Christian Europe was by the Ottoman Empire, comprising Turkey during WWI. Brtish and French soldiers suffered one of the worst military defeats by this military from Turkey at Gallipoli, in which more than 200,000 British, and more than 47,000 French solduers lost their lives. Had Turkey and the Ottoman Empire won WWI, Germany would have controlled upper parts of Europe, and Turkey would have spread Islam to many areas in Europe, Italy, Spain, and possibly even France.
The relevance of this conflict with Islam during WWI is important in understanding the current ethnic problems in Iraq.
After WWI, Britain invaded and held ethnic areas of the defeated Ottoman Empire, including three areas in the MidEast, that it was rumored that Winston Churchill drew together on a bit of paper in a hotel room as a new nation under British control, "Iraq". For more than 40 years Britain fought fierce nationalist violence in Iraq, siding more with the ethnic interests of the Sunni community, and more opposed to Shiite and Kurdish interests. Britain even used mustard gas attacks on entire villages fgured to be hotbeds of nationalist violence. In 1958, an Arab nationalist uprising swept Britain out of power in Iraq. Britain was losing contol in the conquered MidEast areas. Earlier the first successful Arab nationalist uprisng was from Gamel Nasser in Egypt, which only served to inspire similar uprisings and violence. Many such as a young Saddam Hussein were greatly inspired by Gamel Nasser as was the Iraqi Baath Arab Socialist party. Arab socialism was on the move in the MidEast, and British control had the rug pulled out from their control of conquered areas of the old Ottoman Empire.
The current problems in Iraq that make a breakup of Iraq likely are brewing in the problems over writing a viable constitution for Iraq. The ethnic divide from the artificial nation that Britain threw together after the WWI defeat of the Ottoman Empire are becoming very apparent. Both the Shiites and their Kurdish allies are not really writing a document for the establishment of a long term state of Iraq, but are writing a document that is a division of assets more like a divorce paper, where oil assets are being divided to the Shiite and Kurdish ethnic groups, and Sunnis are simply being given the sand of Iraq. And it is entirely likely, due to the recent Kurdish violence within Turkey, that the Kurdish ethnic group may well intend to create a new MidEast nation of Kurdistan, which could involve Turkey in future warfare.
It is amazing how the Bush Administration took an artificial nation with this history of violence against foreign interests such as the British control from post WWI, past WWII, on until 1958, and decided this is where to make a stand for Arab "democracy". Of all MidEast states, Iraq had to be the most likely state to have insurgent conflict, and to break apart into three seperate ethnic states, and to create the possibility of conflict with Turkey with a push by the Kurdish community to command their own state of Kurdistan.
All of those who wave the flag, or attack Cindy Sheehan, really miss the point in Iraq. The possibility of Iraq ever becoming a peaceful democratic state was always highly unlikely. The three ethnic groups that Britain threw together and created in the artificial state of "Iraq" would most likely never become a single peaceful Arab democratic state. The constitutional process in Iraq is closer to divorce papers and the breakup of Iraq is more likely than not. How the Bush Administration will deal with this will be fascinating .