New on my website: a Primer on the Creation of an Artificial
post-Colonial Nation-state

Excerpt from Paris 1919, by Margaret MacMillan (Toronto, Random House,
2002); this excerpt from the 30/10/02 issue of The National Post.

“Gertrude Bell, an historian and archaeologist, was the first British
spy and the only woman to play a key role in the conference. Thin,
intense and chain-smoking, she loved the silence and solitude of the
desert. She foresaw a disaster in the Middle East but felt powerless to
stop it.”

The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 tried to pick up the pieces after the
First World War, disposing of many parts of the world with a varying
effectiveness vividly described by Margaret MacMillan in her new book,
Paris 1919. The Conference was the closest thing there has ever been to
a world government.

Halfway through the war, in 1916, Britain and France made a somewhat
fanciful agreement on how they would divide up the huge Ottoman Empire,
not really expecting to get the chance to do so. At the time, they were
by no means sure they would win the war.

Then in 1918, the Ottoman Turks did lose their empire, and the Allies
were faced with a. reality they had not seriously considered. Macmillan
shows how several modern countries were born from their improvisations.
Before the Peace Conference, for example, there had never been such a
state as Iraq.

continued at:

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“The first duty of a university is to teach wisdom, not a trade;
character, not technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern
world, but we don’t want a world of engineers.” – Sir Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the
author solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the
author’s employer, nor those of any organization with which the author
may be associated.

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