Today is the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot agreement.
The what? Well, much as the Americans find it more convenient to fight their wars on other people’s territory, so the French, English and Germans fought much of the First World War in the Middle East. When the Germans and their allies were defeated and driven out of the area, the French and English agreed to carve up the area between them.
The leaders of the various Arab, Syrian etc. nations, such fierce but honest, loyal and honourable people as Feisal of Iraq, having been promised their independence, felt betrayed. (Gosh, really?) T.E. Lawrence felt himself forced into the rôle of betrayer and freaked out completely.
Now of course the Middle East is ruled by America, with France and England as its pawns or cat’s paws, but the whole ghastly mess stems from Sykes-Picot.