12 July, 2006
Why are all those borders in those places?
Ralph Peters, writing in the Armed Forces Journal, reckons that all the borders of the Middle East to reflect ethnic and religious facts on the ground.
Thanks to Nicholas Whyte for this, who in turn got it from my pal Carl Bildt, who reckons it is "insanely stupid and dangerous".
This kind of attempt to play god with an entire region's borders is obviously arrant mentalism, but at times I reckon that the international community attaches too high a value on defending the work of past cartographers. I cannot but think that the good folk of Somaliland, say, would be in a much happier position if the world did not insist on shackling them to the corpse of Somalia.