Atlantic Article on Middle East Arbitrary Borders

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Atlantic Article on Middle East Arbitrary Borders

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Nov 3, 2013, 9:57am

The Atlantic has an interesting recent article on middle eastern borders drawn in the European powers' colonial days.

The title of the article, 'Stop Blaming Colonial Boarders for the Middle East's Problems,' pretty much states the thesis of the article. It comes complete with humor from the Daily Show starring the British explorer Sir Archibald Mapsalot and a nice 1762 French drawn middle east map. As the article well points out, arbitrary maps by colonial powers weren't just done in the middle east.

I'm not sure that any border scheme would alter the deep antagonisms in the middle east today.

Nov 4, 2013, 10:35am

Interesting article. But rather disappointing to find that the colonial boarders were just a typo - I'm sure there would be scope for a very interesting essay comparing the pernicious effects of boarders and borders...

(About a hundred years ago, I wrote an essay for the General Paper of my university entrance exam on the topic "Is there such a thing as a natural frontier?". I hope they don't archive the candidates' papers — I don't have much recollection what I wrote, but I think it boiled down to "no".)

Nov 4, 2013, 2:16pm

Co-incidentally, 'The Berlin conference' was the subject on BBC Radio 4's 'In Our Time' last week. (May only be available in the UK.)