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Based on historic trade and migration routes between the Mediterranean and Persia, India, and China, are the populations in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria more heterogeneous than that of their neighbors? Were these differences exploited by imperial powers, and did they lead to factionalism, and ultimately to civil war?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by American Luke, Vector, Pieter Geerkens, Lennart Regebro, Eugene Seidel Sep 8 '13 at 4:57

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I voted to close: Sounds like a troll; way too broad; very unclear what is even being asked. –  Vector Sep 7 '13 at 23:59
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Not a troll, but yet again somebody with a personal theory they want confirmed. –  Lennart Regebro Sep 8 '13 at 4:45
    
one of the arguments I heard a lot is that the present Middle Eastern countries and borders were defined rather arbitrarily by the Europeans without any sensitivities to the existing identities, such as ethnics, tribes and religions which already exist. Previously there were no notions of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel or Jordan, these "nations" were kind of forced by the arbitrarily-defined borders. –  Louis Rhys Sep 8 '13 at 5:02
    
@LouisRhys Well, Israel was a notion when modern European countries were swampy backwaters populated by gruff barbarians. Otherwise, you have a valid point :) –  Felix Goldberg Sep 9 '13 at 10:23
    
The poster may have had ulterior motives, and the original version certianly wasn't that great. But I don't see anything horribly wrong with the question as currently posed. –  T.E.D. Sep 9 '13 at 18:34
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1 Answer 1

To no extent at all is the wars in the middle east caused by trade making the area heterogeneous. All empires in the world have been multi-cultural, having heterogeneous populations does not cause problems or conflicts. Having a heterogeneous population is not used to "divide and conquer", although it can be used to increase your power by tricking your support-base into believing that the other people are evil.

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-1 - Very broad generalizations. This answer does not answer the question. Although sometimes a heterogeneous population thrives is not proof that leaders cannot and will not exploit ethnic/group dynamics to achieve goals that are far from altruistic, inluding "divide and conquer". –  Vector Sep 9 '13 at 3:49
    
@LennartRegebro your answer would be improved by the inclusion of some references. –  ihtkwot Sep 10 '13 at 3:22
    
@inkwot: I do have a reference, and the second claim is a negative one. People are welcome to prove me wrong. :-) –  Lennart Regebro Sep 10 '13 at 3:56
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