Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, commonly known as Winston Churchill was a British politician, writer, and army officer. He served as a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was a brilliant political mind, and some of his quotes are being cited to this day. Today, we are going to talk about two things that he said on the situation in the Middle East. He was regarded as a great speaker, and some of his words resonate even today.
His two quotes about the Middle East were right on point. The first one was made back in 1929, and it is true now as it was back in the late 20s. It goes as follows: “The whole of the Middle East is intimately related. Beneath the smooth surface of British rule and the slender garrisons which normally sustain it are smoldering the antagonisms of centuries. There are always feuds and animosities. There are always scores to be settled and fanatical thirsts to be slaked. Any appearance of lack of will-power on the part of the British Government or of lack of confidence in its mission in these countries blows like a draught of air on the dull, fierce embers.”
The Churchill knew what he was talking about. Britain had supremacy over the Middle East since the end of the World War I to 1956. They were the dominant force in this area with their influence stretching from Suez Canal to the Persian Gulf. The dominance lasted all till the end of the World War II. In between two world wars, there wasn’t bigger world power than Great Britain. But after the end of WWII, British influence disappeared, and its place as the super-power was taken by the U.S.
Later in 1958, long after Brits lost their control of Middle East, Winston Churchill made another remark regarding this part of the world: “The Middle East is one of the hardest-hearted areas in the world. It has always been fought over, and peace has only reigned when a major power has established firm influence and shown that it will maintain its will. Your friends must be supported with every vigor and if necessary they must be avenged. Force, or perhaps force and bribery, are the only things that will be respected. It is very sad, but we had all better recognize it. At present, our friendship is not valued, and our enmity is not feared.”
Now, different words resonate in people’s heads: “Churchill was right.” He was, and what’s even worse he is right as we speak. After 1958 there were so many conflicts that it is hard to count. We’re going to name just some that were the most significant ones.
* 1958 Iraqi Revolution
* November 1963 Iraqi coup
* Black September in Jordan
* Lebanese Civil War
* Kurdish–Turkish conflict (still ongoing)
* 1980 Turkish coup d’état
* 1980 -1988 Iran – Iraq War
* 1990-1991 Gulf War
* 2003-2011 Iraq War
* 2011 Syrian Civil War (ongoing)