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[Thread: Empire, Partition and Unification]

The old US dream of (further) partitioning the M.E. is revived in light of a forced US exit from Iraq; old plans for a "Sunni Iraqi state" are now recycled with the aim of creating a safe-zone for US troops.…
Of course, whether such plans can succeed is another question. Below is the old plan for the "New Middle East", unveiled in June of 2006; it died but a month later, in the July War when Hezbollah defeated Israel and changed the geopolitical landscape forever.
As we can see, this plan served US imperial interests to a tee: Iraq as a sovereign Arab country is sundered, and "Sunni Iraq" separates Syria from Iran. (And it is this same ambition that has now been revived in the recent re-manifestation of the plan in 2020).
"Shi'a Iraq" is also intended to be under US control, given the vast swathe of Iranian shoreline it is granted. Iranian territory is also eaten up by Kurdistan, Azerbaijan (both US allies), Afghanistan (under assumption of eventual US control), and new invention "Baluchistan".
Kurdistan, the stalwart US stooge, eats up chunks of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey: yet another old imperial dream. (This was also attempted again during the war on Syria via both Iraqi Kurdistan and "Rojava" - again failing as a result of military failures in the region.)
Jordan (also a US ally) expands, & Lebanon (anticipating Israel will defeat Hezbollah in July so the country kneels to imperial hegemony) is granted the entirety of the Syrian shoreline right up to the Turkish border- cutting not only Syria but also Russia from the Mediterranean.
Yet this kind of partition can only be enforced with military might. The '06 July War and the '11 War on Syria were both waged for this end-goal (Syria itself, had it lost, risked being split into Sunni/Alawite/Kurdish statelets). When these wars failed, so did these plans.
The entirety of this proposal, in fact, depended on the US winning its wars in the region: subjugating Iraq, fully controlling Afghanistan, having "Israel" defeat Hezbollah to make Lebanon kneel, seeing Syria dismantled via proxies - each one of these failed, and so did the plan.
There is also a clear focus on the rich ethnic and religious diversity of the region. Usually, this would be celebrated; in the presence of the imperial Hegemon, it is a weakness, deliberately targeted to break up the political, economic and military cohesion of the region.
The remaining Arab states with political clout and strong, independent armies were Egypt, Syria and Iraq. Egypt was compromised under Sadat, Iraq shattered in 2003 and Syria finally attacked in 2011, even if the latter two arguably are emerging far stronger for different reasons.
It is no accident that sectarian tensions especially between Shi'a and Sunna have been deliberately and relentlessly incited. Ask any Lebanese or Iraqi, and they will tell you tales of intermarriage, co-existence and harmony across Shi'a-Sunna lines no longer ago than 2 decades.
Of course, none of this is new: it has happened before. The Sykes-Picot partition carved us up between the colonial regimes of the time. It was the original "New Middle East", and succeeded in creating new, artificial national identities that broke the unity of the region.
(Incidentally, why is it impossible to find any maps online comparing Ottoman provincial borders with the new, artificially-created Sykes-Picot ones? If you googled Sykes-Picot, you'd get the impression those borders somehow existed forever, and were only divided up in 1916).
We still live with the repercussions of that plan. Why am I Lebanese? Tripoli was historically closest to the Syrian city of Homs. What exactly makes a Jordanian, other than a passport and a learned identity? Not only are our communities split, but also our militaries & economies
This, too, was why the Zionist concept of an "Israeli" state so appealed to British colonialists: it would be the ultimate divide in the heart of the region to ensure the partition, and with time, it would serve as the US military forward-base in their subjugation of the region.
With some degree of irony, it was conceived that the Arab states (with the exception of the House of Saud) would be the greatest threats to the Zionist occupation state, while Christian Lebanon and Persian Iran would serve as its friends and allies.
This was the case for a short while, while Iran was under the Shah and certain fascist Christian elements such as the Phalangists tried very hard to make that colonial dream a reality - and Egypt, as expected, led the vanguard of anti-Zionism in the region.
And yet when we look at the modern day, Egypt has been tamed (at least for now), and it is precisely Lebanon and Iran that form the greatest threat to the Zionist occupation (along with Syria and Iraq).
In a real sense, the initial objectives of the Sykes-Picot plan had failed; its intended effects no longer function. Iran is among the nations with the most anti-imperial sovereignty in the world, and it has called to arms an entire Axis of Resistance to join it.
This is one of the reasons for US enmity to Iran: it leads a defiant alliance of nations and groups that refuse to bend to imperial will and division. Its project usurps the political (but not *yet* geographical) effects of Sykes-Picot.
The colonial powers required military victory to implement Sykes-Picot: the complete defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire served this end. The US today, to instill its ambitions of further division, requires similar military victories - but has faced only defeat.
Thus the Resistance threatens not only "Israel" and other US interests, but their string of victories begins upsets both the old colonial order while at the same time resisting the implementation of further colonial segregation and division.
Moreover, their string of victories does not only mean immunity to division, but with time, poses a real threat of true independence from imperialist policies - once that is achieved, it is only a small step before we start talking realistically about the opposite: unification.
When those who split us (and kept us split) are out of the picture, what obstacles remain? The benefits would far out-weigh them: gradual unification, even in the form of loose federation, or starting even with understandings and affiliations, no longer at each other's throats.
This, then, is what it means to throw the US out of the region. It is not only symbolic; nor even only about regaining *individual* sovereignty - but rather, a region-wide sovereignty, where we can actually take the decisions that would serve the region's people and nations best.
We would no longer be in poverty; we would have a functioning, region-wide economy, tied up with Chinese BRI, Russian Eurasian Integration. We would no longer be in the thrall of imperial interests, constantly being undermined and false-flagged and lured into war after war.
This is the dream- but a dream for now. But it is what it truly means to remove the US, to dismantle the Zionist occupation. Palestine lives & beats in our hearts, but its liberation is not only for the Palestinians: it is the liberation of our region, and our people, as a whole.
The Sykes-Picot partitioning of the region drew artificial lines that continue to define us today, and yet we have already overcome much of its effects- so much so that the current Hegemon seeks to re-partition us again.

And yet they are losing the wars to make this possible.
And why should we only resist new partition?

What separates Syria and Iraq? Do the people of the Badiyah change across the partition line? How do the people of Qa'im differ to those of Bukamal? What, but simulated identity, makes Lebanon different to Syria? *What* makes Jordan?
There may well come a time when Sykes-Picot, too, will be made obsolete, starting in the battlefield but going beyond.

Not only should we resist new divisions, but so too should we resist the older ones too.

And soon, we may have the opportunity to do so - insha'Allah.
To those who mock Resistance: this is why the people of the region resist, and this is what we have to gain by resisting: sovereignty, dignity, autonomy and prosperity, all of which is only possible if the colonial occupier's stranglehold is wrenched from us. This is the reality.
(I would even personally take this further and say the model of the nation-state is not suitable for the region - and the assumption that it must be is simply a result of colonised thinking, rather than independent introspection and investigation)
(Why must the same model that works in the western world be adopted wholesale by us? Did we ever get a say in whether or how this happens? But this is a discussion for another day - keep an eye out for it, perhaps!)
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