An interesting aspect of European colonialism

It was in France where Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese, learned about revolution. Like so many other colonial subjects from territories controlled by European nations, he had been sent to obtain qualifications necessary to build and maintain the infrastructure – both social and technical – in his birthplace.

While in France he would have discovered that France is not a large nation; how shameful to have been dominated by such people was a thought expressed later. He would have noted too that the people in France did not, in general, behave in an ‘uppity’ manner. Only colonial rulers and their minions could behave like that.

Digressing a little – when Australia had taken control of formerly-German Papua New Guinea after WW1, its Patrol Officers seemed to have empathetic relations with the ‘natives’; yet, a few lowly clerks in Australia administering PNG expressed racist attitudes publicly. I write from personal experience, to note that this pattern of relationships was the reverse of that observed with British people. Perhaps it was the White Australia policy which allowed mere ‘nobodies’ to express their assumed superiority. And they were dreadful people.

Indeed, as I progressed through my career, I experienced quite a few ordinary fellows seeking to put me down. Indeed, only a few years ago, I had the phrase “You people … … “ thrown at me, long after I had lived a highly interactive and contributory life, and held leadership positions, in my adopted nation over more than half a century.

Anyway, Ho was a clever learner. He and his fellow-communists drove out the French from Indo-China, as well as the self-chosen protectors of freedom in South-east Asia – by fighting in an unorthodox manner. Regrettably, these well-meaning protectors of other peoples’ freedoms tended to cause great damage to the property of those others, and to their own morality.

There was no risk of a communist takeover of South-east Asia, as my extended family could testify. I write as an avowed anti-communist. The Domino Theory was probably was a facet of neo-colonialism.

Today, one of the invaders of Vietnam seeks to continue to commemorate a rare win in battle against the Vietnamese – but to do so on Vietnamese territory! Did we not lose the war? A Vietnam veteran agreed with me recently that the idea is preposterous. The commemoration, on Turkish soil, of the defeat of Allied soldiers by the Turks in WW1 is surely different.

Advertisements