Re: Kitchener of Khartoum
Been busy the last few days, so I had to cut back on reading time. But tonight I did get a chance to review Fromkin's Part II titled "Kitchener of Khartoum Looks Ahead." When reviewing this I was paying attention to the parts that would help with piecing together Fromkin's argument about Kitchener's influence on the eventual Settlement in the Mideast. Seems to me that pages 81 thru 105 are particularly important as Fromkin provides a character sketch of Kitchener (fodder for the psychology thread) and briefly introduces FitzGerald, Storrs, Wingate, and Clayton who are all important to Fromkin's argument. I don't have time to neaten things up, so I'll just post some observations from those pages.
I was struck by Fromkin's emphasis on Kitchener's symbolic role. He was British Imperial Grandeur personified, and this sort of swallowed him up, at least as Fromkin tells it. But, if this was true, then why weren't Kitchener's views strongly associated with the Imperial community itself? Fromkin argues as if Kitchener was an outsider in the Imperial community. I wonder about this.
Page 85 (bottom) Fromkin mentions that "Kitchener's Agency" was responsible for the establishment of the "protectorate government" policy in the Middle East. I wonder how practical other options actually were considering that this vast region was going to absorbed into the Empire. This question becomes very important near the end of the book.
Storrs p.89, Wingate p.89-90, and Clayton p.90-91. I have to admit that when I first worked my way through the book, I didn't have a clear conception of each of these men. Part of the reason was that Fromkin treats them as essentially a single entity. They, along with FitzMaurice, are the bungling old hands that apparently represent Kitchener's viewpoint, and that influence the Settlement of 1922 via Sykes, and that are still effecting us today in the Mideast. So says Fromkin. His case for their bungling is spread out in the book. One place he makes it is on pages 92-3. I find it fascinating that, as in Chapter 3 p.43, Fromkin provides a quote from John Buchan's Greenmantle
to help buttress his case.
P.95 it is important to note for future reference that in February 1915, the French and British Foreign ministers apparently agreed that if the Ottoman Empire was broken up that "Britain would not oppose France's designs on Syria."
Chapter 10 (starts on page 96) is especially important to Fromkin's argument because he lays out Kitchener's plans for the Mideast after the war. Again Fromkin uses Greenmantle
to help his case. The end of this chapter discusses the all important beginning of the confusing promises made to the Emir of Mecca and his sons. Page 105 concludes with "Kitchener and his lieutenants would have been astonished to learn what their communication signified to Moslems in Arabia."