Monday, October 16, 2006

Ralph Peters: Maniac

The new map of the Middle East crazed wingnut Ralph Peters came up with needs a bit more battering, I think. Specifically, as well as the fact that even though in the text of the article he accepts that the Israelis ought to go back to the Green Line, and on the map he blithely confiscates Saudi Arabia's oilfields and gives them to a new Shia state including southern Iraq, he can't bring himself to mention the word "Palestine" (it's given as "West Bank - status undetermined"), his worldview is truly bizarre and it shows through.

Iran is expected to surrender its Arab bit and coastal strip to the new Shia state, some land to the Kurds, and the northern bit around Tabriz to Azerbaijan - rather like Stalin did in 1945 - and for some reason it's marked as Iran (Persia). Really. What is it with right-wing Americans and restorationist fantasies? Peters probably considers China to be China (Taiwan Mainland) or something. Meanwhile, a straight line is drawn across Iraq right through the centre of Baghdad between "Sunni Iraq" and the new Shia state. That's what I call a dead straight line, even though Baghdad is marked as a "city state" in a desperate afterthought. The Sunnis miss out on the oil except perhaps for the East Baghdad field, but there is no mention of their control of the Shias' water supply (perhaps Peters doesn't realise you need water).

As well as being mulcted of their oil, the Saudis are asked to hand over a huge tract of land to Yemen (why?), Mecca and Medina, plus more land, to a new "sacred state", and accept being downgraded from a Kingdom to the "Independent Saudi Homeland Territories". Christ. Territories and a homeland in one name. Still, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of hypocritical, corrupt medieval torturers. Jordan also gets some Saudi territory - why, I've no idea, except that it ends up looking rather like a rhinoceros rotated through 25 degrees from the horizontal.

Oman, the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait are entirely unchanged, presumably because he doesn't know where they are except that they are rich. Going for the big finish, he also gives the entire Syrian coast to Lebanon, incidentally putting his (presumably) friends and allies there in the permanent minority, on the grounds that it would be a "new Greater Phoenicia."

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