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October 15, 2006

Once Again I'm Proven Right About Humanity's Frothing Lunatics

Ralph Peters, a columnist for the New York Post, is one of America's premier frothing lunatics. He famously took a trip to Iraq earlier this year, after which he explained the situation there "is considerably more promising than the American public has been led to believe." Also, morale in the Iraqi army has "soared" and there's been a "surge in the popularity of U.S. troops." This wonderful news has been kept from us by the secular rootless cosmopolitan media.

Recently Peters wrote an article for something called the "Armed Forces Journal." (While it calls itself "the leading joint service monthly magazine for officers and leaders in the United States military community," it's actually owned by Gannett, not the government.) The article explained what REALLY needs to be done in/to the Middle East: a massive redrawing of every country's borders based on ethnicity and religion. Peters' suggested map of the future appears below. Sure, this would require staggering ethnic cleansing, but as Peters says, "ethnic cleansing works."

Now, when I first read this article I made a prediction to myself: this will be circulating among the mideast's frothing lunatics for DECADES. This is standard. The frothing lunatics in any society seize upon the statements of the frothing lunatics on the other "side," and scream incesssantly that these statements represent actual plans with actual power behind them.

GEORGE BUSH: If we don't stop them, Al Qaeda will create a caliphate across the mideast! After all, that's what Ayman Zawahiri said they'll do!

OSAMA BIN LADEN: If we don't stop them, the crusaders will invade our countries, kill our leaders, and convert us to Christianity! After all, that's what Ann Coulter said they'll do!

One amusing results of this is the statements by one side's frothing lunatics are sometimes far better known in other countries than their own. (E.g, that specific burst of Coulter's insanity may well be spoken of more often in Saudi Arabia than it is here.)

Certainly this turns out to be the case with Peters. His wee screed was likely read by fewer than ten normal Americans. Meanwhile, among his counterpart frothing lunatics in the mideast...

NEWSWEEK's Michael Hastings first heard the article being discussed at a dinner party in Amman, Jordan, while he was on his way into Iraq last summer. "I saw it next in a Sunni mosque in Baghdad," Mike wrote me over the weekend. "The imam had actually printed the map and put it up on the bulletin board with an article in Arabic attached explaining it was the American-Zionist plan to shaft the Sunnis." A couple of weeks ago, Mike was on the trail of the Kurdish guerrillas of the PKK (branded terrorists by Ankara and Washington), who are fighting to break off a big chunk of southeast Turkey. He found them holed up in the quasi-independent Kurdish portion of Iraq. "They were talking about the same map," says Hastings.


I love understanding the world, even when this understanding indicates that we're all going to die.

Posted at October 15, 2006 05:12 PM | TrackBack

The thing I loved about this map the first time I saw it was that despite the various demented border corrections throughout the region it still had "West Bank: Status Undetermined". Oh, how I laughed.

Apparently Ralph ("My cat's breath smells like catfood") doesn't see Kashmir or Cyprus being much of problem either.

Posted by: RobW at October 15, 2006 07:13 PM

ok, time to put your understanding of the world to work on ways to SHUT UP the frothing lunatics, at least in the most powerful country in the world, weapons-wise anyway.

Posted by: Susan at October 15, 2006 07:30 PM

My favorite is Free Baluchistan. A whole new country based on an ethnic group (?) we've never heard of is what gives the plan a certain credibility, distracting the reader from the obvious gaps (West Bank, Kashmir, Cyprus, etc.).

Why the hell are Qatar and UAE still separate countries under this plan? And Kuwait -- is that just a big fuck-you to Saddam?

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at October 15, 2006 08:06 PM

Biggest laugh for me is the Kurdish state that takes up a 3rd of Turkey. Whatever he's was smoking when he drew that map, it's fucking strong.

Posted by: et alia at October 15, 2006 08:38 PM

My favorite is Free Baluchistan.

As I recall, when I lived in New York, about half the cabs in the City had "Free Baluchistan" bumper stickers. Now, thanks to Peters the Great Cartographer, I know where it is.

Posted by: The Continental Op at October 15, 2006 08:49 PM

I found this brief video with Ralph Nad.. whoops I mean Ralph Peters (He does look like Nader) where due to the dire threat of spinach terrorists we need a new map for California.

This is exactly how terrorism spreads where as first you had orange alerts we have expanded that concept to spinach alerts. Today it is spinach, tomorrow it could be the turnip. Who can say where it will end?

What needs to be done is we get a giant George Bush chain saw and cut the farm areas of California into smaller segments. Then we can transport these to various other parts of the country. Artichoke farmland can be moved to Florida. Avocado farmland could be moved to Hawaii by nuclear submarines under cover of night. I would also suggest that California orange orchards could also go to Florida and Florida's orange groves could be moved to California. Then we could switch North Dakota with South Dakota to confuse the terrorists. The best thing for rhubarb is to put it in cans. I also think if we moved the Kansas wheat fields to the Carlsbad Caverns that that would be wise. Hydroponics may be the most effective way of dealing with terrorism in the near future.

Posted by: rob payne at October 15, 2006 10:53 PM

Adam's never heard of Baluchistan? Seriously? Wow.

/once again realizes how totally useless it is to try to recalibrate her worldview so that its more representative of any kind of norm.

The fact that Syria is essentially left alone probably reflects ongoing Western confusion about the nature Syrian ethnic tensions. The fact that the UAE, Qatr, and Kuwait are left alone is an interesting ode to the respect given to really, really rich people.

Posted by: Saheli at October 15, 2006 11:51 PM

Someone should tell old Ralphie Boy that he is dead wrong when he says "ethnic cleansing works". After all, there are still a handful of Armenians, Palestinians, Diego Garcians, etc. Not to mention a very minimal pack of those pesky old "redskins" still hanging around right here in the Good Old U-S-of-A! It won't be long until the NeoCons revive the weekly 'necktie parties' of the Vigilante West! In the words of the Firesign Theatre: "String 'em up! Anybody got any string?"

Posted by: JLaR at October 16, 2006 01:19 AM

where do I even start? Jonathan S., you were speculating about how people in the middle east would react if they saw this map. 1st of all, they would probably point out the curious absence of a "Greater Israel" and suggest that Peters's mapmaking was really a smokescreen for that aim(and it may be. How could you evaluate that?)

2nd, if you are going to create new states for hitherto unrepresented groups, where's Assyria?(I'm guessing Peters thinks the Assyrians and the Syrians are the same. If you're going to muck about with the middle east this much, at least give the Assyrians 15 or 20 hectares and a small shop so they can manufacture their own collector's stamps and become a new Lichtenstein.)

3rd, Pakistan has nukes, and are likely to frown on the rearrangement of their territory, even if you bribe them with a truckload of Assyrian postage stamps.

Still, maybe it's a question of perspective. If Peters had taken his map, patented it and taken it to Milton-Bradley, they could make a neat board game, maybe with a spinning wheel instead of dice, somewhere in the middle of the Caspian Sea. And little tokens, shaped like Bush, Putin, Ahmedinejad, Hugo Chavez(why not?), Sharon in his hospital bed...

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at October 16, 2006 01:31 AM

"ethnic cleansing works."

Jonathan, I owe you an apology. When I saw that quote I thought, that's either some good ole-fashioned snark, or he's taking this guy's words terribly out of context. How could a human write those words, in that order, and mean them?
Being an American expat in London, I often think that the US goes so casually to war because we haven't had our cities devastated by enemy armies. The nearest exception is NYC, which is overwhelmingly against Bush's policies. After all, person-by-person we are not violent people.
Is there no way to convince people to abandon wars of aggression without decimating their homes and cities? Is there no reason?
Please note that these are rhetorical questions. I may be a hopeless liberal, but I'm no fool.

Posted by: PartisanJ at October 16, 2006 01:47 AM

I, for one, would certainly welcome the creation of free Belushistan (even if it has to be spelled in the French manner), populated by zestful Aykroyds.

Posted by: abb1 at October 16, 2006 02:20 AM

"Someone should tell old Ralphie Boy that he is dead wrong when he says "ethnic cleansing works".

In the sense that ethnic cleansing is supposed to solve problems as in-- if only we could get rid of those people who keep dragging us down-- it really does not work. But it always works another way. It always keeps the cycle of violence going like a perpetual motion machine.

Does anyone think that a vast majority of Americans actually ever thought about bringing democracy to Iraq? If it were not for the first Desert Storm I doubt if the vast majority of Americans had even ever heard of Iraq much less cared about what system of government it had.

No, it was the frothing lunatic in the persona of George W. Bush that led us down that rosy path. It is always the frothing lunatics slavering on the edges of humanity that cause the trouble for the rest of us.

And look at the methods used. If you viewed the video of Ralphie boy you probably saw the nice little act put on by the Fox talking head. You should be afraid, fear this, they zoom in on a package of spinach framing the already worked out dialog so that you almost expect that package of spinach to leap up and bite you on the nose, all that was missing was the soundtrack from the movie Jaws. They always play the fear card as it has always worked so well for them in the past. That was not an interview, it was a rehearsed play put on for the benefit of the fear mongers because manipulation has always been the name of the game.

Keep watching that spinach.

Posted by: rob payne at October 16, 2006 02:31 AM

"Keep watching that spinach" could be the perfect phrase to replace those overbearing and over-used terror alert color coded warnings. From now on we must beware of all those who eat greens. They must either actually be, or are aiding and abetting terrorists! Someone wiser than us all once said "I yams wut I yams and dats all wut I yams! Yeh, heh, heh, heh!"

Posted by: JLaR at October 16, 2006 05:33 AM

This map makes perfect sense, except for that little country in the upper right corner called "BEFORE" and now renamed "AFTER."

I hate to admit I had never heard of that one, but then I am not a LIEUTENANT COLONEL IN THE US ARMY like Peters.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at October 16, 2006 09:48 AM

The funnestest thing about redrawing the map is:

The problem with the current map is that is was drawn by Europeans. To solve that problem, we need a map redrawn by...

Wait for it...


That would definitely fix everything!

Posted by: Biff Usually at October 16, 2006 11:28 AM

Baluchistan was home to the largest mammal in the fossil record, the famed: BEAST OF BALUCHISTAN:

Posted by: Marcus at October 16, 2006 01:04 PM

Is his article a joke? Look at the obvious acronym of the rump Saudi state: Saudi Homeland Independent Territories. "West Bank: Status Undetermined," "Greater Lebanon: Phoenicia Reborn," "Iran would, in effect, become an ethnic Persian state again, with the most difficult question being whether or not it should keep the port of Bandar Abbas or surrender it to the Arab Shia State," "the point of this exercise is not to draw maps as we would like them but as local populations would prefer them," these to me are the telltale signs that this guy thinks he's being funny. But he's not. He's not even not funny because he's too smart. He's just not funny because he's stupid and not funny.

Posted by: TG Gibbon at October 16, 2006 01:51 PM

My favorite part is where he doesn't even resolve the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. What a clown.

Here's an idea--let them use military force and diplomacy to define their own borders! You know, like Europe did, like America certainly did?

Oh well--I guess we can't allow the Middle Easterners to decide their own foreign policy. That's what it comes down to, right?

Posted by: at October 16, 2006 04:20 PM

I'd like to see what kind of map emerges from 2 or 3 serious alternatives to oil being embraced by the developed world. If you named countries for where their means of economic support came from you could call the whole region oilistan before and NGOistan after.

Posted by: TR at October 16, 2006 04:42 PM

If you want a chuckle, look at how the West Bank is labelled.

Even in the right wing utopia envisioned in frothing-mouthed fantasy land, nobody can figure out Israel.

This is hilarious.

Posted by: Cory at October 16, 2006 04:42 PM

Adam K asked: Why the hell are Qatar and UAE still separate countries under this plan? And Kuwait[?]

A: Existing U.S. bases. Everthang jes fine, thanks.

Posted by: Nell at October 16, 2006 07:13 PM

God counts the nations as small dust in the balance ... and laughs at the plans of men.

Posted by: Anthony C. LoBaido at October 16, 2006 07:33 PM

Regarding the whole "ethnic cleansing works", wasn't separation of religious groups how the whole India/Pakistan mess got going? It's been -- what? -- sixty years of near-constant low to mid-level conflict with spikes to near-nuclear levels and Peters thinks that's working?

Posted by: darrelplant at October 16, 2006 11:06 PM

its 1am, and normally something like this would piss me off, but its too funny that the most telling piece of this map is that he leaves the Palestinian territories 'undetermined'. are you f*cking kidding me? you just invented countries with your magic box of crayolas but couldnt find it in your heart to utter the words 'Free Palestine'. hilarious.

Posted by: Mr. Todd at October 16, 2006 11:59 PM

The map drawer did not venture into solving the problem of Sindh and Karachi in Pakistan. Perhaps, it was too difficult for him. Not everything can be cured by changing a few lines here and there.
Sindh is the province of the Sindhis, whereas Karachi the city in Sindh, is the home of the people who migrated from India during the partition. Both are minorities marginalized by the majority Punjabis. They cannot continue to accept this treatment but their geographic situation is such that they cannot break away.

Posted by: ... at October 17, 2006 05:32 AM

While someone has noted that, no the map does not address Nagorno-Karabagh, if you look closely, it does give back Mt. Ararat and part of Eastern Turkey to Armenia. My Armenian neighbors will be delighted.

Posted by: Tyler at October 17, 2006 11:15 AM

I notice Peters somehow neglected to apply his principle of ethnic cleansing to Israel.

Perhaps because 51% of the total population west of the Jordan River is Arab?

Posted by: Patty at October 17, 2006 05:45 PM

Apparently, Chechnya, Palestine and Kashmir are not problems worth being considered.

What is also overlooked by this redesign is the oil: the new Arab Shia State gets about 60% of Iraq oil reserves, 70% of Saudi reserves, and a good portion or Iran reserves.

I'm sure everyone will be fine with that too.

Posted by: Mig at October 18, 2006 03:45 AM

Jeez, I just lerv the way this idiot decides to hack away half of Pakistan, a nuclear power.

This guy gets published? Somebody this stupid shouldn't even be allowed to have a driver's license!

Posted by: W, Kiernan at October 18, 2006 11:06 AM

This map isn't a joke -- there is a perfectly clear rationale behind it. You see, NeoCons like Ralph Peters are sick and tired of the penny-ante little moral qualms which prevent, for example, the mighty U.S. miltary from simply exterminating 15 million Iraqi Shia in order to get at a few hundred thousand Sunni terrorists. So you see, if you just group everyone from the same ethnic group into one country, it makes a much better target. Makes the application of "collective punishment" soooooo much easier. Life for these armchair Napoleons will become so much less complicated.

After this plan is implemented, then in the future, if the ethnic Baluchistanis don't fall into line with our GWOT policy, we simply invade their country and behead their leaders without worrying about whether the Iranians will resent it and drive up our gas prices. If the ethnic Afghanis do something to piss us off, we simply nuke Tora Bora without worrying about whether the Pakistanis are going to retaliate by handing _their_ nukes over to our enemies.

The neocons would frankly like to return to the days when soldiers wore bright red uniforms and lined up in neat rows in order to better shoot each other. Makes it soooo much easier to plan military operations by placing tiny models of soldiers on a table map. But after two centuries have passed, a return to those classic old days is probably not feasible.

Posted by: Thomas Daulton at October 18, 2006 11:18 AM

Divide, ut impera

Folks in the EU, Russia, and China, who are defintiely not even a little hot-breathed, much less froth-mouthed, are probably already working on the preliminary versions of their own little redraw of the map of North America. It undoubtedly involves dozens of little statelets where the US of A used to be, artfully constructed to maximize the chances that these statelets will exhaust their residual violent tendencies fighting each other.

These are sensible people, so nothing will come of this unless we continue a course of seemingly random pre-emptive invasions, the odd nuke or two dropped on countries that might get their own nukes in a few decades, and other random acts of senseless destruction, backed up by a larger military establishment than the rest of the world, combined, seems to think it needs. Dropping the mad giant would undoubtedly be extremely messy business, both on account of the bigness as well as the madness, so they won't do it unless the disease becomes clearly worse even than the cure. On the other hand, pursuing mad policies may so exhaust even the strength of the giant, that taking us down will not be that daunting after a while.

Posted by: Glen Tomkins at October 19, 2006 08:37 PM