“A Century Ago, the Modern Middle East Was Born,” announced The New York Times in December. A colleague asks: “Are you not struck by how difficult (impossible?) it is to encapsulate history in an op-ed? Is that really how and when the modern Middle East was born?”
Good questions. The Times’s idea is that after World War I, avaricious imperialists moved in to enslave Turkey’s former slaves. This familiar theme will dominate through the centenary of the Cairo Conference in March 2021. It’s been around at least since 2001, when Osama bin Laden referred to 9/11 as payback for what he then called “eighty years of injustice.”
Herewith some contrarian, revisionist and politically incorrect thoughts.…
Per the previous post, I append for reader comment the contents of my next book, Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What Churchill Stood For.
I have written on most of these matters in the past; the book recasts it afresh. I also acknowledge and cross-reference the work of experts who know far more than I, particularly in the fields of genealogy and medicine. I would be glad to hear your thoughts; please use the “contact” page.
The historian David Stafford wrote: “Myth only develops and takes hold when the time is right, and the climate has long been ripe for the emergence of myths about a wartime hero who stood firm against a totalitarian foe and smote an evil empire.”
Churchill myth is born both of exaggeration and criticism, created either to glorify the record or to belabor it.…