Saturday, January 27, 2007
A LITTLE HISTORY
ere's an surprising little snippet of history from a very interesting article cited recently at lgf, written by military historian Michael Oren. Charles blockquotes one interesting passage, but another one also jumped out at me from the article. (As Charles notes, you can reach the article without LA Times registration by hitting the link on this page).
Apple pie and the Middle East - Los Angeles Times:
A similar open-mindedness was imparted by the Civil War veterans, Union as well as Confederate, who in the late 1860s joined in creating the first modern school system in Egypt.This one should be read in full.
By the end of the 19th century, the United States had become renowned as the defender of minority rights in the Middle East, protecting Bahais, Jews and Armenians from government oppression. Another group of Civil War veterans tried to lead the Syrians in a revolt against Ottoman rule. Yet the fullest expression of American support for the independence of Middle Eastern peoples came early in the 20th century with President Wilson's Fourteen Points, which promised self-determination and "undoubted security of life" to the former Turkish provinces. Although the U.S. failed to follow through on these pledges, it refrained from participating in Europe's carving up of the Middle East and, after World War II, led the effort to decolonize the region. In addition to supporting a two-state solution for the Israel/Palestine dispute, President Truman was instrumental in assuring the independence of several Middle Eastern states, including Syria and Iran.