Levant's Thirty Years War?
Here's a very interesting article: Syria, Iraq and Lebanon Merging Into a Single Sectarian War.
There's an opinion that it was the 30 years' war that laid ground for the following European world domination. Europeans, the theory claims, were the first to learn that it's cheaper to find compromise than to wage war on each other. It unleashed political, humanitarian, scientific and technical progress.
The Levant or even the entire Arabian Middle East might be going through a similar process at the moment. Or rather through the first part of it, an unceasing war where everyone fights everyone else for many years without any success. Will it lead to a realization that peace and tolerance is better than war and domination?
It's hard to imagine, though, that such Arabian Peace of Westphalia could lead to creation of national states. There are no different languages in the Levant to build national states upon. More likely, the region will look like today's Libya. The country seems to have become a very loose confederation of city states with different forms of government, some of them quite successful, others less so.
It's a shame there's no in-depth reporting about what's going on in Libya today, by the way. At least I can't find any, except for two (but very interesting) articles in Russian (1, 2). If you've seen anything in English, French, Spanish, German, Polish or Czech - besides the usual uninformative lamentations about the poor Libyans suffering without a all-powerful centralized state - please provide me with a link.
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