Middle East wars Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

De volgende oorlog in het Midden-Oosten

BERLIJN – Met de herovering van Mosul in Noord-Irak zou de Islamistische Staat (ISIS) spoedig verleden tijd kunnen zijn. Maar de nederlaag van ISIS en de ineenstorting van zijn zelfuitgeroepen Irakees-Syrische kalifaat zal het Midden-Oosten geen vrede, of zelfs maar een eind aan de Syrische tragedie brengen. In plaats daarvan zal dit waarschijnlijk slechts een nieuw hoofdstuk openen in de bloedige en chaotische geschiedenis van de regio – en één dat niet minder gevaarlijk zal zijn dan de vorige hoofdtukken sinds de val van het Ottomaanse Rijk aan het eind van de Eerste Wereldoorlog.

De continuering van dit gewelddadige patroon lijkt vrijwel zeker daar de regio niet in staat blijft om interne conflicten zelf op te lossen, of om iets dat in enige wijze op een levensvatbaar raamwerk voor de vrede lijkt te creëren. In plaats daarvan blijft ze klemzitten ergens tussen de negentiende en twintigste eeuw.

Westerse machten zijn allesbehalve onschuldig qua de bezoekingen van het Midden-Oosten. Elk reppen van het Sykes-Picotverdrag, waarbij Groot-Brittannië en Frankrijk de post-Ottomaanse gebieden verdeelden, veroorzaakt nog steeds zoveel woede in de Arabische wereld dat het lijkt alsof het plan, dat in 1916 in het geheim bekokstoofd werd, pas gisteren bedacht is.

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