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The end of the nation-state

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As the world fretted earlier this month over the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani by United States drones in Iraq and the possibility of World War III breaking out, an important anniversary passed almost unnoticed. A hundred years ago, this month, the League of Nations was created - the first supranational organisation made up of nation-states tasked with maintaining peace.

It is perhaps quite ironic that this anniversary was marked by the extrajudicial killing of an Iranian man by US forces in a third sovereign country - Iraq.

What were Soleimani, an Iranian general, and US forces doing in Iraq?

The US is an empire with military bases around the world; its main ally, Israel is a European settler colony planted in the heart of the Arab and Muslim world by the British and now protected by the US. Iran is a regional power which commands proxy forces in countries including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen.

Both the US and Iran reach beyond their borders, disregarding the sovereignty of nation-states and doing as they please, without regard to the will of these nations or their best interests.

No major power is staying where the postcolonial fictive frontiers tell them to be. Saudi Arabia is in Yemen, France is in Mali, Russia is in Syria, Kenya is in Somalia, Iran is in Iraq and the US is all over the world. What is the point of all these borders that President Donald Trump wants to turn into formidable walls? How come global corporations and US fighter jets cross any border they want, but people must risk their lives to reach a place where they would like to live?

One hundred years after the creation of the League of Nations, we should look back and wonder what happened to nation-states, sovereignty and the world of post-colonial borders that various colonial agreements drew back then.

The weakness of the nation-state and lack of respect for sovereignty is not a recent phenomenon.

In fact, I would argue that by the time Scottish economist Adam Smith wrote his Wealth of........

© Al Jazeera