Were the promises and agreements made between the Arabs, French, and British during the First World War which led to the formation of the Middle East compatible?

Essay by tumraUniversity, Bachelor's November 2004

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"For by superior energies; more strict affiance in each other; faith more firm in their unhallowed principles, the bad have fairly earned a victory over the weak, the vacillating, inconsistent good."

--William Wordsworth

Were the promises and agreements made between the Arabs, French, and British during the First World War compatible?

The formation of the Middle East oft conjures up the image of Allied delegates huddled hawklike about a conference table littered with outdated maps, armed with pencils arbitrarily etching out the provisional boundaries of their post-war booty. A crude image, which depicts an era of imperialistic ambitions, where hungry, war-wrought nations were eager to reap the rewards of their victory. Darwinism was in vogue. Societies entrenched in the durable motif of the strong dominate the weak had found the perfect means to compensate the hefty costs of war. However, unbeknownst to them, they had epitomized the consummate definition of politics, where it remains at its best in theory and at its worst applied in practice, through an ingenious process of political manipulation manifest in sundry agreements, which in their intractability the Arabs where later to denounce as traitorous.

The circumstances, which led to the surgical mutilation of the political landscape of the Middle East, can be followed by an intricate examination of these agreements made primarily between the British and the Arabs. Agreements, which were oddly, due in part to their vagueness, clothed in verbose rhetoric and in part due to British perspicacity and Arab gullibility were almost perfectly in concordance in their promises, stipulations, and pretensions yet in utter irreconcilable conflict in their visions. Only Palestine, the illegitimate son of the peace deal, lies forlornly at the periphery, a thorn stuck in the side of an otherwise perfectly justified Middle Eastern settlement attesting vociferously to the avaricious and...