[lit-ideas] Re: Bad Borders, that monstrous legacy

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 20:42:46 -0700 (PDT)


If this is the first time you have come across such
ideas, you really need to refresh your curriculum.
Also, while the French and the Germans may carry some
blame (but the Germans didn't actually get to draw too
many borders because of their defeats in the WWs), the
current major conflicts in the ME and Central Asia are
a product of the British colonial legacy. They are:
Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Kashmir.


--- Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> One of the books I got in the mail today was New
> Glory, Expanding America's
> Global Supremacy by Ralph Peters, 2005.  He is a
> retired Army intelligence
> officer and doesn't seem to be a great admirer of
> the continental Europeans,
> more specifically the "old Europeans."  For the most
> part he exempts Britain
> from his criticism.  Britain is our ancestor and
> though we may squabble, our
> squabbles are family affairs.  Britain has much more
> in common with us than
> with any nation on the continent.
> On page 9 Peters writes, "The greatest obstacle
> facing the world isn't
> terrorism, but that monstrous legacy of European
> colonialism, bad borders.
> Terrorism is a manifestation of failure, not a
> cause.  Drawn in European
> capitals in the nineteenth and early twentieth
> centuries, the state
> boundaries the colonial powers forced upon so much
> of the world, from Africa
> through the Middle East to Southeast Asia, remain
> the leading source of
> friction and conflict between states - and often
> with them.  Borders
> demarcated to please kings, czars, and Kaisers took
> no account of the
> affinities or hatreds of local populations.  Now
> tens of millions who wish
> to live together are divided and hundreds of
> millions more who wish to live
> apart are forced to remain together.  Perhaps the
> greatest tragedy of the
> 'liberation' era was that none of the heroes or
> villains of the struggle
> could see beyond the world Europe had designed for
> them.
> "Since the end of the Cold War every conflict in
> which the United States has
> been involved has been to some degree a legacy of
> Europe's colonial era -
> including the liberation of that Frankenstein's
> monster of a state, Iraq.
> We are cleaning up the messes left by Paris, Berlin,
> and even London, while
> Europeans chide us self-righteously.  We Americans
> may have broken from
> Europe politically as a result of our revolution,
> but we remain as miserably
> in thrall to European rules for diplomacy and
> concepts of international
> order as colonialism's victims do to
> European-imposed borders.  We need a
> diplomatic revolution.  Then we need to lead the
> world away from the failed
> European model of statecraft."
> The above is from Peters' introductory chapter
> entitled "A Brief World
> Tour."  I shall presumably learn what he means by
> "diplomatic revolution" in
> subsequent chapters.
> Lawrence

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