Middle East

Jun 24, 2014

Rundle: as ISIS strengthens, the age of empires ends

Iraq is a shambles, a legacy of a failed imperialism. But it's not just the Middle East -- everywhere you look, empires and contrived states are falling apart.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Now it’s getting interesting — and by interesting, I mean of course a little scary. ISIS or ISIL or whatever the Sunni Islamist extremist group is being called this week has not only erased the Syria-Iraq border that followed the old Sykes-Picot line, but also captured two towns on the Iraq-Jordan border. It’s reasonable to presume that ISIS militants are equivocal at best about the legitimacy claims of the Jordanian royal family — part of the Hashemite royalty that got edged out of control of the Arabian peninsula by Ibn Saud and Co, currently backers of said ISIS. On the other side of what used to be the country of Iraq, they are moving ever closer to Baghdad.


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6 thoughts on “Rundle: as ISIS strengthens, the age of empires ends

  1. Stuart Coyle

    Of course the ‘natural’ states of the region are Assyria and Babylonia…I blame the current trouble on Byzantine imperialism…how far back should we go when determining borders?

  2. AR

    Roll on Capricornia, Westralia,New Arnhem.. meanwhile I’m off to Wessex.

  3. Observation

    Maybe its just a case of let the strongest, more powerful and most populace conquer and rule. I am not sure how these revolutionaries would run a country once they took control. Would they then be the colonialists and the now ruling party become the terrorist/insurgence? I thought the minority of people in Iraq were Sunni? Wouldn’t this become a problem for ISIS once they took control?

  4. Kevin Herbert

    These developments seriously weaken ‘Isra-hell’s’ position strategically.

    I can see the much vaunted (ridiculed) IDF Iron Dome defence system getting some track work shortly…..gee I hope it’s working properly…..

  5. Irfan Yusuf

    Iraq. Sunni -v- Shia. *yawn*

    Guy, tell that to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi couples who are mixed Sunni and Shia.

  6. Guy Rundle

    i explicitly said that the forces aligned were as much political clients, as actual religious splits. i also criticed th western idea that iraq had to be split into bits because tribalism etc. dont know what morē i can do to make clear that i dont buy the religion/ethnicity line.
    that said, citing sunni/shia couples doesnt cut it – there were plenty of mixed couples in n.ireland, yugoslavia, rwanda…

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