I wrote the following reply to "Origin" in response to an off blog message he sent me in which he expressed surprise at the lack of devotion to the integrity of the Sykes-Picot state system displayed by governments and semi-governments in the ME . He specifically cited a recent meeting in Irbil of Sunni Arab tribal sheikhs to discuss action against the Baghdad government possibly in cooperation with IS. He also mentioned a similar conference held in Amman.
"I think what you (Origin) miss in this is that these countries are not really post Treaty of Westphalia nation-states. They were created by the colonial powers in the image of European countries that more resemble that model. In fact, these Middle East countries are inhabited by disparate groups of people who self-indentify within their group or perhaps within several groups they belong to. These peoples do not identify with the state in which they live unless they happen to run it. Thus, the Kurds feel no actual loyalty to the thing the British called "Iraq." They are quite willing to cooperate with other Sunni people, in this case Sunni Arab tribes who are also indifferent or hostile to the government in Baghdad now that it is run by their ancestral enemies, the Shia Arabs. The Kurds would not lift a finger to help "Iraq" if they were left alone in their mountains. What they yearn for first, last, and always is Kurdish independence. The same situation exists in Jordan a country that is in essence a "reservation" for Sunni Arabs. It has been that since it was created by the Brits in payment of a World War One obligation to the Hashemits Emir Abdullah. This obligation originated in Abdullah's support for the British during the war. When Iraq was under Sunni rule Jordan supported Iraq. Shia run "Iraq" means nothing to Jordan. The same this is true around the region.
IS is different from all these states. It does not recognize the legitimacy of the notion of countries at all and seeks a world wide theocratic state beginning in the Middle East.
The mozaic of all these groups that exists on the ground in the Middle East does not fit the boundaries of the Sykes-Picot world created after WW1. Come to grips with that."
I would add that even in Europe the process of creating national identities accepted by the masses was long and difficult and in some ways and places is not complete. Indeed one could ask if that process is is complete in the US.