Monday, March 31, 2008

Imperial legacy

Andrew Sullivan quotes one of his readers:

The "Iraqi people" have been at each other's throats at least since Britain cobbled together the territory nearly 100 years ago. To think that we can outlast these ancient hatreds with our military presence is folly.
The idea that part of the problem is inappropriate national boundaries that are the legacy of colonialism is commonly heard about the Middle East and Africa. But so what?

It might be true, but we are where we are. Nobody really suggests that national boundaries be redrawn, though that might happen over time as, arguably, it has in the former Yugoslavia. The reflexive repetition of this idea has nothing to do with policy, now, and is just a sort of signal thrown out by the speaker or writer to identify him or herself to friends.

1 comment:

dearieme said...

"at least since Britain cobbled together the territory nearly 100 years ago"; yeah, 100 is less than 6000.