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Borders have been controversial subjects for a long time in many societies around the world. The establishment of borders was to ensure that there is peace and respect between regional boundaries though this has not been the case. The past saw territories fighting others to enlarge their territories until the moment when there came clear distinctions of borders. However, the identification of borders has not resolved issues around the world. There continue to be conflicts relating to borders. This paper conducts an analysis of issues relating to borders both in the past and within the contemporary society.
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The start of Iraqi Freedom Operation
The controversy between boarders also prevails between the United States and Iraqi. For a very long time, there have been conflicts between the Middle East countries and the United States. It is presumed that the origin of these conflicts was presumed by the notion shared among people from the Middle East that the countries from the Middle East are invading their borders. Regardless of whether the invasion by the United States to Iraq was motivated by positive reasons, still most of the leaders from the Middle East and even citizens have not been happy with the actions carried out by the US government. Basing on surveys that have been conducted on the subject, most of the Middle East countries claim that the United States is not respectful of their boundaries. In many societies, boundaries or rather borders are considered imperative and some that mark privacy of some level. As a result, many countries are usually cautious when activities that have not been approved by the state are conducted on their soil. This notion is even more intense in the Middle East. When the United States invaded Iraq in an effort to bring down Saddam Hussein, the political class of Iraq did not perceive the act positively. According to them, the US did not respect their border which is a sign that the United States is disrespectful of other country’s borders (Cirincione, 2014, 204).
From this, it is evident that country borders’ acts as restrictions providing limitation of invasion from other countries. There are arguments that the mission of the United States was humanitarian and thus should not be perceived negatively. George Bush once said that the mission of the United States was to disarm Iraq of their weapons that were being used for mass destruction. He also added that after disarming the country, the reign of Saddam had to be brought down. Globally, there are policies and guidelines in place to oversee those borders are respected (Bush, 2018, N.p). However, even though international policies prevent invasion of borders, there are also independent bodies such as the UN which have authorities over borders and might at times offer permission for boarders to be invaded. The case of US and Iraq is an example of a situation whereby invasion is permissible.
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In the book “The Cultural Politics of Emotion,” Sara Ahmed examines the role played by emotions in the course of shaping the borders of individual and even joint bodies. According to her, all bodies tend to take the shape of the people and objects that they come into contact. She goes on to assert that for bodies to recognize their borders, they ought to be threatened. From her notion, it can thus be asserted that threats play an integral role in the course of marking and maintaining borders whether individually or politically (Ahmed, 2013, p. 72). Within the contemporary society, most of the people and societies that tend to act without order require threats which can be imposed through laws for people to identify the borders between what is right and wrong. As a result, boarders can also be used to refer to the subjects distinguishing what is bad from good (Cirincione, 2014, 204).
A good example of instances whereby threats have led to the recognition and maintenance of borders is from the emergence and advancement of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). These groups have doubled pressure on numerous states and the international community to tighten security in their borders and also to prevent invasion by FTF groups (Fiskesjö, 2017, p. 8). As a result, there have been distinctions of boarders from place to place around the world marking varied kinds of legalities. Due to these threats, many countries have become aware of the importance that borders play in the running of a nation. Conclusively, threats play an imperative role in reminding people and national bodies regarding the importance of borders.
The West and the Rest
Despite the fact that borders play a significant role in improving the quality of life through cautioning, boarders can also be destructive and a source of conflict. Deducing from the phrase “The West and the Rest, ” it is apparent that borders are a source of conflict among varying regions. There have been numerous comparisons that have been made between the western countries and other countries around the world. Some scholars and analysts have termed the rest to mean regions in the east which are made up of Asia and Africa. These comparisons are the source of the phrase “The West and the Rest,” which has been commonly employed to entail the superiority that the west has over other countries. Such comparisons have led to a lot of negativity around the world. However, it is inappropriate to establish divisions among nations by making some people feel more superior to others. It is due to these border comparisons that cold war started whereby some nations wanted to prove their superiority over others (Deresky, 2017, 95).
The perception of identifying individuals based on their origin or residence is unwelcomed. If borders will be used to demean and define superiority, then misconceptions will evolve. It can be true that the west is superior but this does not in any way mean that the east or the rest of the world is inferior. There are countries from the east such as China which is doing quite well in terms of developments. Therefore, it is improper to draw conclusions that if the west is civilized, the east is primitive, if the west is clean; the east is dirty, if the west is enlightened, and the east is barbaric. A study conducted by Fiskesjö (2017, p. 9) argued that negative comparisons between regions do not promote societal growth and development in any way. On the contrary, they breed a culture of hatred and prompt unhealthy competition between countries and regional boundaries across the globe. For instance, if western countries will continue to consider themselves more civilized and powerful, a country like China which has equal potential as they have might compete with them through inappropriate mechanisms in an effort to prove the west wrong. Such kinds of competition are what prompt tension and war such as the one evidence during World War I and World War II (Sewpaul. 2016, p. 34).
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In conclusion, the presence of borders is fundamental in upholding peace and development in the society. It is through the availability of borders that countries have been able to protect their people from both internal and external attacks. Therefore, countries should continue upholding the presence of borders and strive to maintain their borders. However, when borders are misused, they can have adverse effects on the society. It is as a result of the negative perception of borders that the world engages in conflicts and war.
- Ahmed, S., 2013. The cultural politics of emotion. Routledge.
- Bush, G. (2018). President Discusses Beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. [online]
- Cirincione, J., 2014. Repairing the regime: Preventing the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Routledge.
- Deresky, H., 2017. International management: Managing across borders and cultures. Pearson Education India.
- Fiskesjö, M., 2017. The legacy of the Chinese empires: Beyond ‘the West and the rest.’. Education About Asia, 22(1), pp.6-10.
- Sewpaul. V., 2016. The west and the rest divide: human rights, culture and social work. Journal of human rights and social work, 1(1), pp.30-39.