A white-man take on colonialism

Having experienced the ‘rough end of the pineapple’ through personal experience of these –isms, I am decidedly anti-colonial, anti-racist, and anti-communist. To explain: I was a British colonial subject until I migrated to Australia; was deemed a ‘black’ (even ‘black bastard’) during the White Australia era; and (together with my family) suffered from a gang of Chinese communists in Japanese-occupied Malaya.

Much to my pleasant surprise, I came across an article by Phillip Adams, a well-known social commentator, in the ‘Weekend Australian Magazine’ of the ‘The Australian’ newspaper of 26-26 September 2015, which highlights the folly of our political leaders (wherever located). Here are extracts:

“… millions have died in prolonged horrors perpetrated or perpetuated by Western nations, ours included, in wars waged against the tide of history in the discredited name of democracy or the domino theory.

As surely as ISIS was unleashed by Bush’s Coalition of the Willing, Pol Pot was created by Nixon, Kissinger and another coalition of which we were an enthusiastic member. The death and destruction we rained down in Indo-China, with bombs, napalm and defoliants, compared in rage and scale to the air raids in Europe. Yet they failed to defeat a small, valiant people who’d only recently endured invasion by the Japanese and colonisation by the French.

Learning less than nothing from those monumental stupidities, the Coalition of the Willing did it again with its ‘shock and awe’ campaign in Iraq, killing a disputed number of civilians – perhaps a million – while mutilating, maddening and displacing millions more.

The Vietnamese imagination is haunted by a literal belief in wartime ghosts. … … As in Iraq, the death toll of troops and civilians is disputed; a figure of a million seems likely, although the Vietnamese government doubles that. Add perhaps two million for the killing fields of Cambodia. … …

There’s renewed criticism of Japan’s continuing reluctance to apologise for its war crimes. … And our own reluctance to atone for the brutalities inflicted on the Aboriginal people – our Sorry Day was a long time coming and PM Howard refused to take part – is another case in point. So, don’t hold your breath waiting for a ‘sorry’ from Bush, Howard, and Blair and the rest responsible for the grotesquely misnamed Operation Iraqi Freedom. Based on lies and political, cultural and historic blindness.

Much of the mess in the Middle East is a consequence of colonialism – and the wholly arbitrary designations by bureaucrats from Britain and its departing mates. They’d literally nail a piece of tin on a palm tree and say ‘this is Kuwait, the other side is Iraq.’ Ditto in Africa, where Europeans drew straight lines on the landscape, ignorant or indifferent to ancient tribal boundaries. Which led, generations later, to the genocide in Rwanda between Tutsi and Hutu. Have the French apologised? Did the Belgians ever apologise for their king’s genocidal attacks on the Congo … … “

That, I think, says it all – except (according to an Israeli academic) that Iraq was intended to be split into 3 ethno-religious regions. This was to enable Western control, through its agent on site. However, the regime –changers of the West forgot to allow for other major players. A horrendous price is being paid by innocent civilians. Does anyone care?

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