From Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points.
5) “ A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.”
12) “…other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development.”
Where did we go wrong? Oh, that’s right, in regards to “questions of sovereignty” both “the interests of the populations concerned” and the “government whose title is to be determined” are EQUAL. Even giving that much was probably more to do with the United States lacking colonial assets in the affected areas. Still, even back then, at the end of WW1, our politicians recognized the need for autonomous nation states.
EDIT: For a really good look at the situation, check out this CS Monitor article.