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In 1919, following the Allied victory in World War I, President Woodrow Wilson asked Henry Charles King and Charles R. Crane to lead the American Section of the Inter-Allied Commission in the Middle East. Their mission was to investigate and report on the conditions and wishes of the people in Turkey and the Arab provinces of the defeated Ottoman Empire -- especially regarding the breakup of the empire into self-governing nations.

During the summer of 1919, King and Crane spent a month and a half touring the Middle East by automobile, horse, and train. The Commission received 1,863 petitions with approximately 19,000 signatures and heard presentations by representatives from about 1,500 villages, including numerous oral statements recorded by interpreters.

The Commission's report to President Wilson and the Peace Conference was drafted in Constantinople in late August. The King-Crane report faithfully detailed the wishes of the native peoples, but was suppressed or ignored at the peace conference - which ended up being dominated by the imperial ambitions of the French and British.

The King-Crane report was not published officially until 1947. The report is an excellent primer on the history of the modern-day conflicts in the Middle East. The Confidential Appendix is must-read material as well - for here they say things that would not be made available to their British and French counterparts (the general report was made available to both). Their analysis of Zionism and the regional conflicts it would create was especially prescient.

For text of the report see: http://www.hri.org/docs/king-crane/