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Time passing does not always provide legitimacy to foreign occupations of countries; many countries around the world are still under foreign control, even after centuries or millennia. Whether the occupation is ancient or more recent, the passage of time does not necessarily make it more legitimate.
The passage of time is often thought to provide legitimacy to the occupation of countries, but this is not necessarily the case. Many countries throughout the world are still under foreign occupation today, despite the passing of centuries or even millennia. These occupied countries may never have previously been independent, or the occupying forces may have taken over more recently. In either case, the long passage of time does not necessarily mean that the occupation is any more legitimate.
The relationship between time and international law is often debated with regard to the legitimacy of occupying countries. Many argued that with the passage of time, an occupation may become accepted and even respected. This position relies heavily on the idea that time has a transformative effect on international law and improves public opinion on occupations of certain countries.
In recent decades, more attention has been focused on the occupation of countries by outside forces. This has highlighted the difficulty of traditional moral and legal frameworks in determining whether continued occupation is a violation of global laws. Consequently, the words “legitimized” or “de-legitimized” are increasingly being used to assess the legitimacy of a country’s occupation.
In the Middle East, some countries have been under occupation almost continuously since ancient times. For example, Lebanon was occupied by the Egyptians, then the Babylonians, Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottoman Turks, and finally the French in the early 1900s. Similarly, Palestine has long been occupied by successive imperial powers, including the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Ottomans. Other countries in the region, such as Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, have also been occupied and annexed by foreign powers for decades or even centuries.
Even in Europe, where countries have become increasingly independent over the past two centuries, there are still a number of countries that are currently under foreign occupation. In Russia, the little-known Kaliningrad region is a remnant of German East Prussia that has been under Russian rule since 1945. In the east, Belarus is also under Russia’s sphere of influence, although it retains some aspects of its national sovereignty. Kosovo, which is de facto part of Serbia, is also widely considered to be under effective Serbian control.
In Africa, a number of countries continue to be occupied by outside forces, despite the long passage of time. In Western Sahara, the Moroccan government has held effective control for more than four decades, while in the east the state of Somaliland has been in dispute since its de facto independence in 1991. In the south, the islands of the Comoros have been effectively occupied by France on and off since 1841, and are still currently under France’s control.
The long passage of time can often lead to a sense of acceptance and legitimacy for an occupation, but it does not automatically confer any inherent rights. Whether in the Middle East, Europe, or Africa, the fact remains that countries can still be occupied indefinitely, or until outside forces decide to end the occupation or relinquish their power.
Nevertheless, there is evidence to suggest that over time, an occupation may gain increasing acceptance among the public or the diplomatic community of countries. Many democracies held close diplomatic or economic ties with certain occupying countries. Additionally, certain occupations have developed recognition in international forums that had previously deemed them illegal. In some cases, political leaders even call for international recognition of the occupying countries.
In conclusion, the passage of time alone does not legitimize the occupation of countries. Ultimately, the legitimacy of an occupation depends on the consent of the occupied people. Nevertheless, through the passage of time, an occupation may be slowly accepted by the international community and by certain citizens of the occupied countries.
Generally, the passage of time alone cannot be depended upon to “justify” an occupation. This is because the key factor necessary for a legitimate occupation is consent from the people of the occupied country. Without this consent, the occupation is considered illegal under international law, regardless of the length of time.
Currently Occupied Countries
- Middle East
🇱🇧 Lebanon (Israel) | 🇵🇸 Palestine (Israel) | 🇯🇴 Jordan (Israel) | 🇸🇾 Syria (Israel, Turkey, U.S.) | 🇮🇶 Iraq (Turkey, Kurds) | 🇾🇪 Yemen (Saudi, U.A.E., U.S.) | 🇪🇬 Egypt (Israel).
🚩 Jammu and Kashmir (India) | 🚩 Tibet (China).
🇨🇺 Cuba (U.S.).
🚩 Kaliningrad (Russia) | 🇧🇾 Belarus (Russia) | 🚩 Kosovo (Serbia) | 🇦🇲 Armenia (Azerbaijan).
🚩 Western Sahara (Morocco) | 🚩 Somaliland (No recognized government) | 🇰🇲 Comoros (France).