French intentions in Syria

French intentions in Syria: Sykes–Picot Agreement

The Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France, with the assent of Russia, defining their proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The negotiation of the treaty occurred between November 1915 and March 1916. The agreement was concluded on 16 May 1916.

The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence. The terms were negotiated by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and British Sir Mark Sykes. The Russian Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following the Russian Revolution of October 1917, the Bolsheviks exposed the agreement, ‘the British were embarrassed, the Arabs dismayed and the Turks delighted.’

Britain was allocated control of areas roughly comprising the coastal strip between the sea and River Jordan, Jordan, southern Iraq, and a small area including the ports of Haifa and Acre, to allow access to the Mediterranean. France was allocated control of south-eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Russia was to get Istanbul, the Turkish Straits and the Ottoman Armenian vilayets. The controlling powers were left free to decide on state boundaries within these areas. Further negotiation was expected to determine international administration pending consultations with Russia and other powers, including the Sharif of Mecca.

In May 1917 W. Ormsby-Gore wrote “French intentions in Syria are surely incompatible with the war aims of the Allies as defined to the Russian Government. If the self-determination of nationalities is to be the principle, the interference of France in the selection of advisers by the Arab Government and the suggestion by France of the Emirs to be selected by the Arabs in Mosul, Aleppo, and Damascus would seem utterly incompatible with our ideas of liberating the Arab nation and of establishing a free and independent Arab State. The British Government, in authorising the letters despatched to King Hussein [Sharif of Mecca] before the outbreak of the revolt by Sir Henry McMahon, would seem to raise a doubt as to whether our pledges to King Hussein as head of the Arab nation are consistent with French intentions to make not only Syria but Upper Mesopotamia another Tunis. If our support of King Hussein and the other Arabian leaders of less distinguished origin and prestige means anything it means that we are prepared to recognise the full sovereign independence of the Arabs of Arabia and Syria. It would seem time to acquaint the French Government with our detailed pledges to King Hussein, and to make it clear to the latter whether he or someone else is to be the ruler of Damascus, which is the one possible capital for an Arab State, which could command the obedience of the other Arabian Emirs.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes%E2%80%93Picot_Agreement

About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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11 Responses to French intentions in Syria

  1. kruitvat says:

    US, Britain, France repeat imperial intentions in Syria- Saeb Shaat

    Interview from Belfast, other point of view…

    Mirror: A Middle East expert says just as the British and French divided the Ottoman Empire into colonies in the 1960s history is now being repeated with those countries along with the US seeking to colonize Syria. The comment comes as a new binational YouGov-Cambridge poll indicates that the American and British pubblics are against any foreign military intervention in Syria aimed at overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Press TV has conducted an interview with author and Middle East expert, Saeb Shaath, in Belfast to further discuss the issue.

    Original upload: http://youtu.be/GMDkcEkk6kA

  2. kruitvat says:

    Russian claims in the Ottoman Empire were denied following the Bolshevik Revolution and the Bolsheviks released a copy of the Sykes–Picot Agreement (as well as other treaties). They revealed full texts in Izvestia and Pravda on 23 November 1917, subsequently the Manchester Guardian printed the texts on November 26, 1917.
    This caused great embarrassment between the allies and growing distrust between them and the Arabs. The Zionists were similarly upset with the Sykes–Picot Agreement becoming public only three weeks after the Balfour Declaration.
    The Anglo-French Declaration of November 1918 pledged that Great Britain and France would “assist in the establishment of indigenous Governments and administrations in Syria and Mesopotamia by “setting up of national governments and administrations deriving their authority from the free exercise of the initiative and choice of the indigenous populations”. The French had reluctantly agreed to issue the declaration at the insistence of the British. Minutes of a British War Cabinet meeting reveal that the British had cited the laws of conquest and military occupation to avoid sharing the administration with the French under a civilian regime. The British stressed that the terms of the Anglo-French declaration had superseded the Sykes–Picot Agreement in order to justify fresh negotiations over the allocation of the territories of Syria, Mesopotamia, and Palestine.
    On 30 September 1918 supporters of the Arab Revolt in Damascus declared a government loyal to the Sharif of Mecca. He had been declared ‘King of the Arabs’ by a handful of religious leaders and other notables in Mecca.
    On 6 January 1920 Faisal initialed an agreement with Clemenceau which acknowledged ‘the right of Syrians to unite to govern themselves as an independent nation’.
    A Pan-Syrian Congress meeting in Damascus had declared an independent state of Syria on the 8th of March 1920. The new state included portions of Syria, Palestine, and northern Mesopotamia. King Faisal was declared the head of State. At the same time Prince Zeid, Faisal’s brother, was declared Regent of Mesopotamia.
    The San Remo conference was hastily convened. Great Britain and France and Belgium all agreed to recognize the provisional independence of Syria and Mesopotamia, while claiming mandates for their administration. Palestine was composed of the Ottoman administrative districts of southern Syria. Under customary international law, premature recognition of its independence would be a gross affront to the government of the newly declared parent state. It could have been construed as a belligerent act of intervention due to the lack of any League of Nations sanction for the mandates.
    In any event, its provisional independence was not mentioned, although it continued to be designated as a Class A Mandate.
    France had decided to govern Syria directly, and took action to enforce the French Mandate of Syria before the terms had been accepted by the Council of the League of Nations. The French issued an ultimatum and intervened militarily at the Battle of Maysalun in June 1920. They deposed the indigenous Arab government, and removed King Faisal from Damascus in August 1920. Great Britain also appointed a High Commissioner and established their own mandatory regime in Palestine, without first obtaining approval from the Council of the League of Nations, or obtaining the formal cession of the territory from the former sovereign, Turkey.
    Attempts to explain the conduct of the Allies were made at the San Remo conference and in the Churchill White Paper of 1922. The White Paper stated the British position that Palestine was part of the excluded areas of “Syria lying to the west of the District of Damascus”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes%E2%80%93Picot_Agreement

  3. kruitvat says:

    ‘Vanishing lines in the sand – Why a new map of the Middle East is necessary’
    http://www.ceps.be/book/vanishing-lines-sand-%E2%80%93-why-new-map-middle-east-necessary

  4. kruitvat says:

    The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916

    The Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 1916, was a secret agreement that was concluded by two British and French diplomats, Sir Mark Sykes and Georges Picot. The Sykes-Picot Agreement involved itself with the partition of the Ottoman Empire once World War One had ended.

    The Sykes-Picot Agreement effectively handed over control of Syria, Lebanon and Turkish Cilicia to the French and Palestine, Jordan and areas around the Persian Gulf and Baghdad to the British. While neither France nor Britain actually ‘owned’ these territories, they were to effectively control them at a governmental and administrative level. Northern Syria and Mesopotamia were also considered to be an area of French influence while Arabia and the Jordan Valley were considered to be a sphere of influence of the British. Jerusalem was to be governed by an international administration.

    This agreement did clash with the McMahon Agreement of 1915 and the statements made by T E Lawrence to the Arabs who had expected to be allowed to govern their own regions after helping the Allies fight the Turks during World War One.

    The agreement was never completely fulfilled by the peace settlements but it did lead to the Arab people not fully trusting the British or French governments at times in the future.

    How did the Arab people find out about the Sykes-Picot Agreement?

    After the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917, the Communists, led by Vladimir Lenin, found a copy of the agreement in the Russian government’s archives. Russia, in the agreement, was to have influence in Turkish Armenia and northern Kurdistan – hence why the pre-communist government had a copy of the agreement. The Russian Communists released the contents of the agreement into the public domain – thus explaining why numerous Arab groups knew about it.

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/sykes_picot_agreement.htm

  5. kruitvat says:

    May 19, 1916:
    Britain and France conclude Sykes-Picot agreement

    On May 19, 1916, representatives of Great Britain and France secretly reach an accord, known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, by which most of the Arab lands under the rule of the Ottoman Empire are to be divided into British and French spheres of influence with the conclusion of World War I.

    After the war broke out in the summer of 1914, the Allies—Britain, France and Russia—held many discussions regarding the future of the Ottoman Empire, now fighting on the side of Germany and the Central Powers, and its vast expanse of territory in the Middle East, Arabia and southern-central Europe. In March 1915, Britain signed a secret agreement with Russia, whose designs on the empire’s territory had led the Turks to join forces with Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1914. By its terms, Russia would annex the Ottoman capital of Constantinople and retain control of the Dardanelles (the crucially important strait connecting the Black Sea with the Mediterranean) and the Gallipoli peninsula, the target of a major Allied military invasion begun in April 1915. In return, Russia would agree to British claims on other areas of the former Ottoman Empire and central Persia, including the oil-rich region of Mesopotamia.

    More than a year after the agreement with Russia, British and French representatives, Sir Mark Sykes and Francois Georges Picot, authored another secret agreement regarding the future spoils of the Great War. Picot represented a small group determined to secure control of Syria for France; for his part, Sykes raised British demands to balance out influence in the region. The agreement largely neglected to allow for the future growth of Arab nationalism, which at that same moment the British government and military were working to use to their advantage against the Turks.

    In the Sykes-Picot agreement, concluded on May 19, 1916, France and Britain divided up the Arab territories of the former Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence. In its designated sphere, it was agreed, each country shall be allowed to establish such direct or indirect administration or control as they desire and as they may think fit to arrange with the Arab State or Confederation of Arab States. Under Sykes-Picot, the Syrian coast and much of modern-day Lebanon went to France; Britain would take direct control over central and southern Mesopotamia, around the Baghdad and Basra provinces. Palestine would have an international administration, as other Christian powers, namely Russia, held an interest in this region. The rest of the territory in question—a huge area including modern-day Syria, Mosul in northern Iraq, and Jordan—would have local Arab chiefs under French supervision in the north and British in the south. Also, Britain and France would retain free passage and trade in the other’s zone of influence.

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/britain-and-france-conclude-sykes-picot-agreement

  6. kruitvat says:

    Modern History of the Arab Countries. Vladimir Borisovich Lutsky 1969

    CHAPTER XXVII
    THE ARAB COUNTRIES IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR (1914-18)

    THE ARAB COUNTRIES’ STAND IN THE IMPERIALIST WAR.

    In 1914, all the Arab countries were drawn into the imperialist war, a war for the redivision of the world and its spheres of influence. One of the causes of World War I was the struggle for possession of the Arab countries. Germany wanted to gain a foothold in the Turkish Sultan’s domains and was threatening Britain’s positions in the Middle East. France was trying to wrest Syria and Cilicia from Turkey. Britain wanted to seize Iraq and Palestine and gain a firm foothold in Egypt.

    In 1917, Lenin wrote: “The war was brought on by the clash of two most powerful groups of multimillionaires, Anglo-French and German, for the re-division of the world.

    “The Anglo-French group of capitalists wants first to rob Germany, deprive her of her colonies (nearly all of which have already been seized), and then to rob Turkey.

    “The German group of capitalists wants to seize Turkey for itself and to compensate itself for the loss of its colonies by seizing neighbouring small states (Belgium, Serbia and Rumania).” [Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 23, p. 335.]

    Both sides made use of the territory, bases, communications, natural resources and manpower of the Arab countries that were dependent on them. The Anglo-French bloc used the territory and resources of Egypt, the Sudan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and the British domains in Arabia. The German-Turkish bloc placed at its own disposal all the natural resources and manpower of Palestine, Syria, the Lebanon, Iraq and part of Arabia.

    The Arab countries’ formal participation in the war, however, whether on one side or the other, still did not determine the peoples’ real stand. Actually, they were hostile to both belligerents and both the Anglo-French and German-Turkish rear were unstable. The Arab people hated their foreign oppressors, and this hatred was skillfully used by one imperialist bloc against the other.

    Each belligerent supported the national movements and the uprisings in the enemy’s rear and spurred them on, using them for their own needs. A struggle against the imperialists of Britain, France and Italy began in Egypt, the Sudan and other North African countries. The struggle was particularly acute in Morocco and Libya. The French often referred to Morocco, where the Arab and Berber tribes had forced them out of the mountain regions, as their “second front” (the main one being the Western front). By 1915, the Italians held only isolated posts on the coast of Libya. Moreover, Germany and Turkey were using the Libyan Arabs in the struggle against Britain and had organised a series of Bedouin raids from Libya on Egyptian territory.

    Britain and France used the national movement in the Arab countries subservient to Turkey for the struggle against Turkey and Germany. The Arab Nationalists con-ducted reconnaissance work and sabotage in the Turkish rear and provoked anti-Turkish uprisings.

    http://www.marxists.org/subject/arab-world/lutsky/ch27.htm

  7. kruitvat says:

    THE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SITUATION IN TURKEY’s ARAB PROVINCES.

    On October 29, 1914, Turkey entered the world war that was to have such fatal consequences for the Ottoman Empire. Turkey’s military plan, endorsed by the German command, provided for offensive operations in the Caucasus and in the Suez Canal Zone. The Turks’ reckless scheme was to seize Egypt and shift military operations to North and Central Africa.

    The troops which had been detached to take part in the offensive against the Canal Zone comprised the 4th Army under the command of Ahmed Jemal Pasha, one of the Young Turk triumvirs. Actually, the military operations were supervised by a batch of German officers belonging to Liman von Sanders’ military mission. The chief of the 4th Army headquarters was the German military attaché to Damascus, Colonel Kress von Kressenstein. In practice, he was the army’s commander. Ahmed Jemal was engaged mainly in “securing the rear.”

    The 4th Army was based in Syria and Palestine, who were completely unprepared for a long war. They suffered from the lack of good roads. Jemal Pasha, who had promised his friends he would sail back to Istanbul via Alexandria, began his journey through a sea of mud. At the railway station in Aleppo he had to be carried out of the train on the soldiers’ backs. The situation was equally disheartening elsewhere.

    Syria’s and Palestine’s economy was unable to withstand the trials of war. Under the pretext of military necessity, the Turkish authorities immediately began fleecing the civilian population. The peasants’ cattle and food were requisitioned on a mass scale. In 1915, nine-tenths of the grain harvest in Syria and the Lebanon was commandeered. Trees everywhere, including fruit trees, were cut down for fuel and the irrigation system was neglected. Forced labour was used extensively. Thousands of peasants were taken away from the land and forced to work on all sorts of military projects.

    Agricultural and industrial production dropped sharply. Even before the war there had been a shortage of home-grown wheat in Syria and now wheat imports were almost completely suspended. The Turkish authorities took no measures to ward off the approaching famine and even organised food exports to Germany.

    Prices of essential goods rose steeply and many articles dropped out of sale. The flourishing kings of the “black market” made huge fortunes.

    Between 1915 and 1916, hundreds of thousands of people in the Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Iraq, especially the inhabitants of the big cities, were on the verge of starvation. Epidemics of typhus and other diseases broke out here and there. In the spring of both 1915 and 1916, tens of thousands of people died in Syria and the Lebanon. In Syria, in 1917, one-tenth of the population died of hunger and disease. No less than 100,000 people died in the Lebanon alone. Tens of thousands died in the Moslem and Baghdad vilayets.

    The war, economic difficulties and economic dislocation gave rise to a wave of spontaneous discontent throughout the country. The Turkish Government feared and mistrusted the Arab population of the empire. In November 1914, the government invested Jemal Pasha with special powers. Apart from the command of the 4th Army, he received the rights of Commissioner Extraordinary and wielded absolute military and civil power. He introduced martial law in the Arab provinces, abolished the vilayet councils and the civil court, destroyed the Mountain Region’s autonomy and liquidated all the rights and privileges which had been granted to various religious communities on the basis of international agreements. Jemal Pasha persecuted the Arab national liberation movement and conducted a shameful policy of Turkisation and ruthless suppression of Arab culture.

    Most of the Arab population adopted a hostile attitude towards the war. They hated the Turks and remained in-different to the Sultan’s leaflets proclaiming the jihad, i.e., holy Moslem war. The Arabs openly rejoiced at the Turco-German army’s defeat and readily responded to the calls from émigré centres to sabotage the Turks’ military efforts.

    Jemal Pasha had to keep nearly half his troops in the rear, since they might be needed in event of an uprising. But the troops themselves were unreliable. Of three divisions, two were comprised of Kurds and Arabs from Mosul and one, of Syrians. Jemal Pasha demanded the despatch of Turkish contingents. Feeling against the war spread quickly among the Arab soldiers of the Turkish army. Cases of mass desertion, voluntary surrender and refusals to take part in the fighting became common. Mutinies took place in a number of towns. In April 1916, a Mosul garrison and several other Arab garrisons mutinied.

    In 1915, there were disturbances in several Syrian and Palestinian towns, where the people were demonstrating for bread and peace. Spontaneous uprisings continued to flare up here and there. In 1916, in Jebel-Druse, the north-ern Lebanon and Damascus, guerilla detachments began an armed struggle against the Turks. Anti-Turkish uprisings that had flared up in the sacred Shi’a cities of Nejef and Karbala broke out afresh in the spring of 1916.

    http://www.marxists.org/subject/arab-world/lutsky/ch27.htm

  8. kruitvat says:

    THE ARAB NATIONALISTS’ ATTITUDE TO THE WAR.

    When the war broke out, the Arab Nationalists split into two camps according to their attitude towards the belligerents. They had two alternatives: either to accept the Entente’s support and the possibility of an Anglo-French occupation or to participate in the war on Turkey’s side with a view to satisfying national demands within the frame-work of the Ottoman Empire.

    The majority of the Nationalists sided with Britain and France and only a relatively small, but influential group of Nationalists (Abd er-Rahman Shahbandar, Mohammed Kurd Ali and others) clearly apprehended the danger connected with an Anglo-French occupation and chose to support Turkey under the Pan-Islamic slogans of “holy war.” Jemal Pasha established close contacts with this group and promised them broad autonomy after the war. Some-thing like an Arab-Turkish bloc was formed on the basis of the campaign against Britain and France. The Arab press supported the slogans of jihad (holy war) and gave the Turks favourable publicity.

    By the spring of 1915, however, cracks appeared in the Arab-Turkish bloc. The defeats at the front, the Turks’ chauvinist policy, the spread of famine and anti-war feeling among the masses dispelled the illusions of Shahbandar and his friends. They began to question Jemal Pasha’s and the Turkish Government’s sincerity. They were also disheartened by Turkey’s helplessness and her rapid transformation into a German colony.

    The vacillations of this group and the anti-Turkish feelings harboured by the majority of the Nationalists were used by British Intelligence, which relied on the Decentralisation Party’s local branches and on anti-Turkish secret societies. The Decentralisation Party’s leaders in Cairo called for immediate and complete secession from Turkey and began preparations for an uprising. They sent their agents and propaganda literature to Syria and Palestine. British planes dropped leaflets urging the Arabs to desert, to abstain from the payment of taxes and the like.

    Anti-Turkish propaganda met with a growing response among the Arab population, which began to heed the reports from Cairo. The final blow to Ottoman illusions was struck by Jemal Pasha himself. In the spring of 1915, he launched mass repressions against the Arab Nationalists. At the beginning of the war, the Arabs had been afraid of choosing the wrong side. When they finally made their choice, it was not in Turkey’s favour.

    Even in the early months of the war, Jemal Pasha had had Arab intellectuals and officers shadowed. He had searched the French consulates and had found material incriminating many prominent members of the Arab national movement. In June 1915, when it became clear that the jihad slogan had completely failed and that the Arabs were ready to support an anti-Turkish uprising, Jemal Pasha began a bloody struggle against the Arab Nationalists, closing down a number of newspapers and organising mass arrests of members of the Arab national societies. ln 1916, Jemal Pasha dealt ruthlessly with the Arab national liberation movement.

    Between 1915 and 1916, several Arab Nationalist groups appeared before a military tribunal. The leaders of the Decentralisation Party, the Young Arab Society, the Lebanese Awakening Society and other outstanding members of the Arab movement were charged with high treason, with having connections with Britain and France and with having incited the people to rebel. During the investigation, the accused were tortured and threatened. The judges ignored all laws of legal procedure, following only Jemal Pasha’s instructions. The courts sentenced hundreds of Nationalists to death and others to various terms of imprisonment. Abd el-Karim Khalil, Ridah es-Sulh, Mohammed Mihmisani, Sheikh el-Zahrawi, Shafik el-Mu’aid, el-Ureisi, Selim el-Jazairi, and many others were hung on the squares of Beirut and Damascus. All told, by the middle of 1916, the military tribunals had sentenced over 800 activists of the Arab national liberation movement to death.

    Apart from legal punishment, the Turkish authorities organised the mass deportation of Arabs suspected of disloyalty to the Turkish Government. Tens of thousands of people, especially representatives of the Arab intelligentsia, the Christian and Shi’a clergy and the families of prominent Nationalists were banished to concentration camps in the desert. Banishments were attended by robberies, killings and other acts of violence. In the camps the exiles perished from hunger and disease.

    By these means Jemal Pasha succeeded in crushing the Arab national societies, destroying their leaders and terrorising the population of the Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Iraq. The blow which the Turks dealt against the Arab national liberation movement in 1916 was a severe one. They wiped out its cadres and organisation, thereby delaying the general anti-Turkish uprising in the Porte’s Arab provinces.
    http://www.marxists.org/subject/arab-world/lutsky/ch27.htm

  9. kruitvat says:

    The British PROTECTORATE OVER EGYPT.

    The British rear in Egypt, the main British base in the Middle East, was as unstable as the German-Turkish rear in Pales-tine, Syria and lraq. Egypt was considered a part of the Ottoman Empire and was only “temporarily” occupied by the British. Nevertheless, Britain drew her into the war like her other colonies. On August 5, 1914, the British forced the Egyptian Prime Minister, Husein Rushdi Pasha, to announce complete rupture of relations with all Powers hostile to Britain. This declaration forbade the Egyptian population to correspond or to maintain commercial or any other relations with the subjects of states hostile to Britain. It also forbade Egyptian ships to call at enemy ports. At the same time the Egyptian population was called on to render all possible aid to Britain, and the British army and navy were granted the right to use Egyptian territory and ports for military operations.

    According to the British writer Lieutenant-Colonel Elgood, who served in the British occupation corps during the war, the result of this declaration was that the deep feeling of mistrust towards the occupying Power, common to all classes of the Egyptian population, grew into a feeling of widespread but as yet concealed hatred. Egypt’s forced ties with Great Britain had drawn her into a war, the origin and aims of which she knew nothing about.

    Having entered the war, Britain violated the Convention of 1888 by occupying the Suez Canal Zone and instituting a number of emergency political measures. By the Decree of October 18, 1914, the government postponed for two months the convention of the Legislative Assembly, which in time of war could become a means for expressing popular discontent. Similar postponements were ordered on several other occasions and the Assembly did not meet once throughout the war.

    On October 20, 1914, the government issued a decree on “illegal gatherings.” If more than four Egyptians assembled without the authorities’ permission, they could be punished as criminals.

    On November 2, 1914, martial law was declared in Egypt. Supreme authority in Egypt passed into the hands of General Maxwell, the commander-in-chief of the British forces. The regime of military dictatorship was combined with in-creased terrorism. Thousands of participants in the national movement, bourgeois intellectuals, doctors, lawyers, teachers, officers and students, were thrown into prison or concentration camps, exiled to remote oases or banished to Malta. The leader of the Hizb El-Watan Party, Ali Kamil, was interned and the Nationalist newspapers were closed. All the other newspapers were heavily censored.

    Taking advantage of the war, Britain decided to legalise Egypt’s seizure. On December 18, 1914, the British Foreign Secretary announced Egypt’s secession from Turkey and her consolidation as a British protectorate. A high commissioner was placed at the head of the colonial administration in place of the British consul-general, who was listed as “diplomatic” representative, although he ruled the country as an absolute satrap. McMahon was appointed to this post in 1914. In November 1916, he was replaced by Wingate. But since martial law was in force, these officials were actually subordinate to the commander-in-chief and were mere tools in the hands of the military dictatorship. On December 19, 1914, the British deposed the Egyptian Khedive, Abbas II Hilmi, who was in Constantinople and had fallen out of favour with the colonial authorities. They installed their stooge Husain Kamil Pasha in his place, investing him with the title of sultan. When Husain Kamil died in 1917, his son Kemal ed-Din, unwilling to become a British puppet, refused to occupy the throne. The British then sought out a certain Prince Ahmed Fuad, Ismail’s younger son, who had grown up in Italy and had served in the Italian army. On the eve of the war, Italy had nominated Ahmed Fuad as the King of Albania. On October 9, 19I7, Britain offered him the Egyptian throne. Valentine Chirol writes that Ahmed Fuad was hastily elected by the British Government not because he possessed any unusual qualities, but because, having very few friends in Egypt, he was forced to rely on British support.

    http://www.marxists.org/subject/arab-world/lutsky/ch27.htm

  10. kruitvat says:

    1 september 2013
    ‘France ready to play substantial role in Syria air strikes’

    President François Hollande of France has reaffirmed his intention to play a substantial role in air strikes on Syria – but is under increasing pressure to put the issue to parliament.

    President Barack Obama and Mr Hollande spoke by telephone before Mr Obama announced that he would seek authorisation from Congress before staging an intervention.

    Earlier in the day, an opinon poll for the newspaper Le Parisien showed that 64 per cent of French voters did not want France to join the US in air strikes.

    Despite this, a source close to the French President said that he had reaffirmed to Mr Obama “his determination to act to sanction the regime”, adding: “It’s important for the Americans to have the green light from Congress.”

    Mr Hollande has the power, independent of parliament, to order military action lasting less than four months. However, Jean-Louis Borloo, the head of the opposition UDI party, called on Mr Hollande in a statement to “organise, after the debate, a formal vote in parliament”. A non-voting debate on Syria will be held in the French parliament on Wednesday.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-ready-to-play-substantial-role-in-syria-air-strikes-8792981.html

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