The Road to Hell

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh

Following this morning suicide bombing at a police checkpoint on the Beirut-Damascus highway in east Lebanon killing one police officer and wounding 32 people, the blocking of several roads in the capital, the raid in a hotel for terror suspects, and the numerous articles published few days ago about ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and the partition of the Middle East, I remembered John F. Kennedy’s quote: “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind”.

True, but how? And what mankind?

When Middle Eastern countries are partitioned, if not fragmented, in parallel with the rise of terrible Islamic extremism and devastating sectarian/political conflicts? Spare us the artificial borders’ argument, “the idea of redrawing the Mideast map is nothing new” and ‘Iraq and Syria (will Lebanon be next?) are impossible to maintain as nation-states because they were created by European powers after World War I!

When the American administration is “slowly weighing the repercussions of any steps it might take in Iraq or Syria?”?

When ISIS or Da3ech with its destructive ideology is allowed to grow and the Iraqi army to collapse while regional and international powers are rushing to take advantage of the situation to further their interests?

When Sykes-Picot agreement (1916) is overturned by trans-border armies and mercenaries – not by the common political will of free people?

When fanaticism, salafism, authoritarianism and Islamist Frankenstein-ism undermine dialogue, conviviality and moderate political/religious visions/practices?

When longstanding international powers’ geostrategy in the Middle East is using tyrants and terrorists to expedite access to regional oil and gas resources?

When the only geopolitical strategy applied is ‘Divide and Rule’, which involves exploiting fault lines between various groups in the Middle East to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts?

I honestly do not think so…

No matter how much warlords think they are making history, they are directly contributing to its collapse. History is not made by the winners (define a ‘winner’) and no one will come out ‘victorious’ in the current local/regional wars, even Kurdistan. If we, i.e. the Middle Eastern people, the Western Asian people, with our diverse and often contradictory cultures and social-political ideologies, really want peace – meaning ‘really want to break the vicious cycle of war’ -, beyond shutting down ISIS, Al Qaida and other vultures, we could start by dismantling our ignorance, ‘mafichism’ attitude, sectarian mentality, despair, wounded memories, traumas, insanity (In Einstein’s words: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”), and identity crisis. The current situation promises nothing more than the road to hell, and what we are about to lose is not the ‘mandates’ legacy nor the ‘line in the sand’ as author James Barr called the Sykes-Picot agreement, but our opportunity and unique chance to act in order TO BE and BECOME MORE HUMANE, our only raison d’être.  Sorry Robert Fisk, I do not care about killing off Mr Sykes and Mr Picot, nor if Arthur Balfour will be smiling or not in his grave…

Join the Conversation

No comments

  1. Excellent! Seeking for our humanity… our humane humanity
    No matter what are the physical frontiers.
    Sunnistan, Shiitestan, Kurdistan,…
    I also don’t care!
    If new nations are to be formed, they will not last, because their creation would have been as ‘artificial’ as the current ones, and based on BLOOD and VIOLENCE.

  2. Bravo Dr!
    At last a different tune than others.
    Sick of listening to bad news and reading about the partition of the old middle east.

  3. Remind me of Chris Rhea ‘The road to hell’ 😉
    Well I’m standing by a river but the water doesn’t flow
    It boils with every poison you can think of
    And I’m underneath the streetlight but the light of joy I know
    Scared beyond belief way down in the shadows
    And the perverted fear of violence
    Chokes the smile on every face
    And common sense is ringing out the bell
    This ain’t no technological breakdown
    Oh no, this is the road to Hell
    And all the roads jam up with credit
    And there’s nothing you can do
    It’s all just bits of paper
    Flying away from you
    Oh look out world
    Take a good look what comes down here
    You must learn this lesson fast and learn it well
    This ain’t no upwardly mobile freeway
    Oh no, this is the road, said this is the road
    This is the road to Hell

  4. Think I’m leaving this country and this region. Sick of everything. Sick of violence. Sick of war.

  5. I just read Robert Fisk’s article and i liked the second part of the title “The old partition of the Middle East is dead. I dread to think what will follow”.
    I too, dread to think what will follow…
    Sad and dangerous situation for us all here.

  6. The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”
    This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.
    This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.
    The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.”

  7. ‘Constructive chaos’ meaning here, as I see it, :the road to hell is paved with good intentions” 😉

  8. J’admire votre ténacité face à cette situation chaotique et je partage votre opinion. Nous souffrons énormément et cette souffrance s’accumule avec les générations. Le résultat est le déchirement et la haine à moins d’une libération interne.

  9. I would rather get a visa and escape the inferno.
    other young people will do it too. This situation is unbearable.

  10. A century ago, European powers redrew the lines of the Levant according to their own needs. They are gone, but the map remains, along with a shameful irony: While Europeans found a better way to set their own borders, the states they carved out of the Ottoman Empire continue to burn and self-destruct.

  11. “Ending the Sykes-Picot order does not mean unilaterally redrawing the map of the Middle East from Washington. Events on the ground will drive these changes, whether they are caused by Kurdish nationalism, Alawite retreat, or Sunni Arab brotherhood. The emergence of a Kurdistan or Alawistan, or the shrinking of the Maronite enclave in Lebanon, could partition clashing nations and tamp down on long-running ethno-religious violence. Shiite Arab Baghdad, Sunni Arab Damascus, Maronite Beirut, Alawite Latakia, Kurdish Irbil, Jewish Jerusalem, Sunni Turkish Ankara, and Shiite Persian Tehran would still compete, but the lowered stakes could ultimately lead to a more stable and peaceful region. Like the Balkanization of Europe, such a process would be slow, coming in fits and starts”.
    This is bullshit !! I wouldn’t want – and many others – to live in such ‘cleansed’ places !!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *