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Western State Terrorism: The London Connection

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Dean Acheson, the US Secretary of State, once said, “ Britain has lost an Empire and not yet found a role.” The Bush-Blair axis lays bare the dilemma faced by the British ruling elite after the end of the Second World War. The Empire collapsed and Britain’s status in the world was greatly reduced to that of a second rate power. The political elite including the top echelons of the Foreign Office formulated the strategy of playing the second fiddle to US global interests. The essence of the Special Relationship is for Britain to align itself politically as a junior partner in an orbit of power predominantly under American aegis as a way of preserving some great power status.

In his book Web of Deceit, Mark Curtis, a former research scholar at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, has written a searing indictment of British Foreign policy and ‘ rescues the historical and documentary record from a web of distortion and self-serving illusion’. “The Washington – London axis is not only special to the two elites; it has been a pillar of world order for over five decades” writes Curtis, “The two leading western powers have, since 1945, colluded to shape the global economy and much of international affairs to their interests. The US has clearly led the strategy, which in the early postwar years meant replacing British power with their own, notably in the middle-east;” Britain plays a secondary role in supporting brutal family regimes in the Gulf States which maintain the oil order to favour Western (US and British interests). In the United Nations, Britain serves US interests by voting for US in the Security Council resolutions. In Economic forums, Britain aggressively pursues economic liberalisation to aid US and British businesses.

Under the New Labour Government of Tony Blair the relationship has only deepened with the US in a number of ways. Blair is clearly an uncritical supporter of Bush’s illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the US-Britain relationship eerily resembles the client/satellite relationship of the erstwhile USSR and its allies. British Ministers and senior diplomats serve as US diplomats to push through the resolutions of its Big Brother at the UN. Sharp differences rose when US imposed tariffs on British steel in early 2002, which were swiftly patched up to pound defenseless countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan to submission. Tony Blair, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, is the newest US ambassador and he relishes his role as the top advisor for Bush. He is the chief propagandist for the Bush government and is a master of telling half-truths. For his domestic constituency, there is constant spin that his Faustian pact with the Neo-Liberal Bush administration is imbued with benevolence and high moral purpose.

When it came to power in 1997, the New Labour tom-tom was the high ethical purpose of its foreign policy and its ‘force for good in the world’. One of the classic exponents of the hoax was none other than Robin Cook, the foreign Secretary, who declared that the new foreign policy under Tony Blair would have an ethical dimension. When asked to provide one example of the ethical dimension, he replied that continuing the sanctions against Iraq would be one such instance. The grotesque irony was lost on the media that the illegal sanctions killed thousands of Iraqi women and children.

Britain’s basic benevolence in foreign policy is largely in the realms of myth making. It is to the credit of scholars such as Mark Curtis who cut through the “Big Lie” layer by layer and exposed the mendacious nature of British imperialism. Delving into official records available in the Public Record Office in London, he constructs a frightening picture of cruelty, venality and hypocrisy of the British elite in pursuit of its imperial agenda.

In recent times, Britain’s sordid record as a gross violator of human rights dates back to 1948 when she declared emergency in Malaya and began a particularly vicious war against the poor and marginalised Chinese labour force. A Colonial Office report in 1950 disclosed that Malaya’s rubber and tin mining industries were the biggest earners for primarily British businesses. As the conditions in the mines owned by British capital was appalling, the Chinese workers struck and demanded better wages and living conditions. The strikes caused financial losses to the British interests and brought about draconian measures being imposed on the trade unions.

To counter the insurgency force of the Malay Chinese of around 3000-6000 Britain conducted 4500 airstrikes in the first five years of the war. Close to 709000 pounds of bombs were dropped on the insurgent encampments. 500-lb fragmentation bombs (forerunner of the notorious cluster bomb) were also used in the unequal conflict between the British Military and the insurgents. Defoliants supplied by the Chemical giant ICA were widely used to destroy crops. Systematic torture was used in interrogation procedures of the British forces to elicit information about the whereabouts of the insurgents.

Decapitation of dead guerillas served as means of identification especially when the bodies were rotting in the jungles. Displaying dead bodies of the guerillas in public was another barbaric method to instill fear in the Chinese squatters. As the Scotsman newspaper quaintly observed it was good practice as ‘ simple-minded Chinese are told and come to believe that the communist leaders are invulernable.’

The insurgency was crushed but that did not prevent the notorious Sir Gerald Templer, the High Commissioner of Colonial Malaya, to fatuously observe ‘ the answer lies not in pouring more troops into the jungle, but in winning the hearts and minds of the people.’ The hearts and minds of the Malay Chinese were won by putting into effect the infamous Briggs Plan. This resettlement programme forcibly evicted the Chinese squatters from their villages and located them in a new village surrounded by barbed wires with searchlights round the periphery to keep an eye on the movements of the squatters at night. The resettlement camp was nothing but a concentration camp.

The resettlement camp was source of cheap labour for the rubber estates. The brutal campaign ended on a self-congratulatory note for the British commercial interests. After all, the Chinese workers learnt the spiritual joy of hard work in rubber estates and their vagrant minds were disciplined for their own good. However, the true nature of the repression surfaced when a lord blurted out ‘What we should do without Malaya, and its earnings in tin and rubber, I do not know.’

The British involvement in destabilizing the legally constituted government of Iran hardly finds mention in the mainstream British media. In August 1953, the M16 and the CIA organised a coup that overthrew the popular and democratically elected government of Mohamed Musaddiq and installed the brutal Shah of Iran. Britain’s Churchill waxed lyrical about the operation and told the CIA agent who masterminded the operation that he ‘would have loved nothing better than to have served under your command in this great venture.’

The bone of contention was the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company- later called British Petroleum, which was controlled and owned by British Government and British Investors. Under the popular government of Mussaddiq uncomfortable questions were asked about the sharing of oil revenues and the resentment grew among the nationalist forces in Iran as to why the government of Iran should get less revenues than AIOC. The dispute soon snowballed into a major crisis with the government of Musaddiq nationalizing the oil operations in May 1951. The Iranian government offered compensation that was legitimate from the perspective of international Law but it angered Britain. From that point onwards the government of Musaddiq was marked for a coup. Sir Donald Logan of the British Embassy in Iran declared ‘Our policy was to get rid of Mossadeq as soon as possible.’ The British preferred a strong dictator who could settle the issue of oil in favour of British interests without messy public discussion in the parliament.

A fake mob bribed with CIA and M16 money staged huge demonstrations in Tehran. The mob was shown as the members of the Iranian Communist Party (Tudeh) to provide the pretext for the coup. Some were agents for the British who threw rocks at the mosques. The Shah’s forces were completely equipped by the Americans with military hardware and after savage fighting in the capital the government of Musaddiq was defeated. The British elite claimed that Iran was free from Communism and blessed the murderous dictator Shah to rule Iran with an iron fist. Free Iranian citizens experienced their taste of freedom in the torture chambers of Shah’s secret police the SAVAK. CIA trained the agents of SAVAK in gruesome torture techniques and the British M16 gave an advanced course in methods of persuasion. By all standards the Shah’s regime topped the torture charts.

The Shah was a star pupil that made the thickset master of Realpolitik Henry Kissinger to sing praises about his protégé ‘ the Shah is the rarest of leaders.’ This rare leader and faithful ally of Anglo-American oil interests went on a blood bath killing 10,000 Iranians. The Shah met his fate in a revolution spearheaded by the Islamic clerics that toppled him. The intense anti-western feelings have their roots in the Anglo-American complicity of propping up the Shah of Iran that destroyed Iran’s democratic institutions. The contemporary events in Iran suggest a twist of irony: The country is constantly lectured on its human rights violations by the duo Bush-Blair and to add to its poignant woes, it enjoys the dubious distinction of being called a Rogue State by US and Britain.

With a kind of monotonous regularity that numbs the senses, theBritish Colonial Policy in Kenya has pursued in the same brutal and cynical fashion bereft of any moral or ethical values. In 1952 Britain declared a state of emergency in Kenya to quell the Mau Mau uprising against the Colonial government. The Mau Mau was largely drawn from the Kikuyu who constituted the largest ethnic group in Kenya. The racism and the exploitation at the hands of white settlers and the Colonial Government was the root cause of the hatred and the intense Anti-European sentiments. The Kenyans were paid low wages and they lived in appalling conditions. The revolt was against the British Colonial repression. T

he Mau Mau uprising was not a communist plot to oust the British Colonial government but a nationalist movement to resist the British. As the colonial power could not find credible evidence for a communist plot, the Mau Mau revolt was represented as a sinister cult whose members indulged in sexual orgy, cannibalism, occult and black magic. The unrest grew as the British blocked the constitutional road to resolve the crisis. Jomo Kenyatta, the leader of the Kenya African Union (KAU), organised a peaceful struggle against the British Government. The KAU in its declaration noted ‘ The chief characteristic of all labour- skilled or not.. is the low wages…..Due to this, ninety percent of our people live in the most deplorable conditions ever afforded to a human being .. Modern serfdom has come into being as cheap labour.’ The reaction of the British was to jail Kenyatta for seven years on flimsy trumped up charges.

The official version was that the unrest had to put down with paternal firmness with the same sorrow as a father giving his errant son six of the best. The paternal firmness found expression in extreme brutality and gross abuse of human rights. The declassified documents show that the declaration of emergency was done with the intention of curbing the popular nationalist movement and to make land and the rich mineral resources safe for the Colonial Power. In the brutal war between the Mau Mau and the government forces, both sides committed atrocities. The Colonial forces killed 10,000 Africans while the Mau Mau killed 32 Europeans. More white settlers were killed in road accidents in Nairobi than at the hands of Mau Mau. The colonial counter insurgency forces were given a free hand to shoot anybody if they were black.

The Colonial Police used the most extreme forms of torture on Mau Mau suspects such as slicing off ears, boring holes in eardrums, flogging until death, pouring paraffin over suspects who were set alight, and burning eardrums with lit cigarettes. Some suspects were castrated; others had their fingertips cut off. Shortly after the emergency was declared, the Governor passed orders that it could detain whomsoever it wanted in nazi style concentration camps. A former officer in one of the detention camps in 1954-55 witnessed ‘overwork, brutality, humiliating and disgusting treatment and flogging- all in violation of human rights.’ The savage repression and brutal force were instrumental in putting down the uprising and killing about 1,50,000 Kenyans.

After she gained her independence in 1963, the British Government cleverly maneuvered for a moderate government friendly to British interests to come to power. Even Kenyatta abandoned the nationalistic policies and gave concessions to the British. In the words of the political analysts Bethwell Ogot and Tiyambe Zeleza “Kenya (in 1978) was still a dependent export economy, heavily penetrated by foreign capital from all the major capitalist countries, so that she was more firmly and broadly integrated into the world capitalist system than at independence.” The fruits of post independent Kenya were shared between the Kenyan ruling class and foreign interests. The men in bowler hats had finally won.

The British perfidy in giving carte blanche to the Indonesian generals to murder close to one million Indonesians is a closely guarded secret and this terrible secret is rarely mentioned in the media. On the basis of declassified documents available, the British policy in Indonesia is shown in its truest colours: rapacious, brutal and morally bankrupt.

In 1965 Britain and USA gave support to the Army to oust the Indonesian Leader Sukarno. General Suharto who carried out the coup was a corrupt and murderous thug. The real target of the coup was the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Both the British and American policy experts were worried that the economic resources in Indonesia would be primarily used for the benefit of the Indonesian people and not western interests. The threat of independent development alarmed the British and American Planners.

The army proceeded to hunt down the members of the PKI with the diabolical cruelty unparalleled in modern history. In the reign of terror that followed, the army would pick up any man or women suspected of being members of PKI and shoot them in cold blood. Even elderly persons were not spared. In one incident a village execution squad picked up a woman of 78 and executed her. The Officials of the State Department (US) nodded approvingly when the slaughter went on and gave their blessings to the Generals by providing them with small arms. The British were not far behind and supported Suharto to the hilt. The British Intelligence (M15) ran a propaganda campaign to smear the reputation of Sukarno and the PKI.

The operation was conducted from a base in Singapore known as Phoenix Park. In an interesting letter addressed to the Foreign Office the British Ambassador to Indonesia Sir Andrew Gilchrist quaintly wrote, “I have never concealed from you my belief that a little shooting in Indonesia would be essential preliminary to effective change.” By 1966 ‘the little shooting’ led to the wholesale massacre of PKI and the “good generals” got a pat on their back for efficiently dispatching close to one million Indonesians to oblivion. The corrupt military regime of Suharto plundered Indonesia for nearly thirty years with the active support of Britain and US and the grateful general showed his gratitude by creating favourable business climate for western companies to take their share of the loot. Suharto was ousted in 1998 but the damage was done to the concept of an equitable society by the concentration of economic and political power vesting in the hands of the few.

The British role in Kenya, Iran, Malaya and Indonesia showed that high ideal and benevolent purpose were empty rhetoric and the true purpose was to safeguard British commercial interests if necessary with brute force. Curtis admirably sums up thus: ‘ the first is how brutal in war, and abusive of human rights, British elites have been in the past, much more so than is usually presented. Second, they show Britain’s overwhelming need to keep economic resources in Western hands- elites who give favourable treatment to Western business. Third, they show that the primary threat to British elite interests throughout the postwar period was not so much communism or Soviet expansion- the official threats intended for public consumption- but indigenous nationalism arising from within those countries. These nationalistic forces offered in many cases the prospect of real development for poverty-stricken populations. But they were crushed by Britain. Fourth, they reveal the British elites contempt for democratic, popular groups when they fail to promote British interests.’

The contempt that the New Labour under Tony Blair has for international law is merely a continuation of its traditional colonial policies. Britain has become an outlaw terrorist state and has scant respect for the United Nations. Recent events only confirm this: Britains role in imposing one of the cruelest sanctions known to mankind was instrumental in killing ordinary women and children in Iraq. When other member countries of the Security Council wanted the sanctions to be lifted, Britain and US alone wanted the sanctions to stay. The sanctions, which grossly abused human rights of ordinary Iraqi men, women and children, destroyed Iraq as a country. The country was left without essential life support medicines. The most vulnerable sections of the society, namely, children died in thousands. UN estimates that the sanctions which were imposed in August 1990 were responsible for 500,000 children under the age of five dying in Iraq. Denis Halliday, the former UN coordinator for Iraq, provides more chilling statistics: the death toll for children is closer to 600,000 for 1990-1998; if adults are included the toll climbs to one million deaths.

The unlawful aggression against Iraq in 2003 was without the UN mandate with other member countries refusing to pass the resolution for war. The pretext for waging the war was the time worn cliché: to protect the world from Weapons of Mass Destruction of Saddam Hussain. The Bush-Blair duo waged an illegal, immoral war destroying the basic infrastructure of Iraq such as water electricity and television stations, which is against international law. These constitute war crimes. The use of depleted uranium shells and cluster bombs on Iraqi people was gross violation of the Geneva Convention and crimes against humanity. Iraq, a proud country with a civilization dating back to ancient times, was reduced to the stone age.

Also suppressed from the public and from international scrutiny was the imposition of no fly zones by the British and US that are illegal and contrary to international Law. What was also concealed from the public was the softening up of air defense systems of Iraq to pave the way for a full-scale war in 2003 commenced much earlier sometime in 2002. This crucial fact throws light on the charade of UN weapon’s inspection team and the refusal of Iraq to cooperate with the UN team. US-Britain had already decided to attack Iraq and the controversy of the Iraqi obduracy was a ruse to cobble international support for its aggression. British complicity in aiding the US to wage war against Iraq is eloquent testimony of Britain becoming a global bully with the absurd pretension of enforcing international law.

The Anglo-American aggression on Afghanistan is a variation of the same theme: Good versus Evil. The ostensible purpose was again a noble one: to destroy the Al’ Qaida network and the Taliban regime. The added bonus of the noble war was to capture dead or alive the elusive Osama. In a ferocious bombing campaign that followed the unilateral declaration of war the US-British forces pulverised Afghanistan. In the first six months of the campaign more than 22000 bombs/ missiles were dropped. As usual the targets were civilians. One estimate places the civilians who died as a result of the aggression at 10,000 to 20,000. The Taliban fell but it was spurious claim that the Al’Qaida could be destroyed. The Al’Qaida did not have a centralised command and was not located in one geographical area. It was dispersed all over in the form of decentralised network.

The raison d’être of the Anglo-American aggression on Iraq and Afghanistan was oil. The importance of controlling oil was understood by the British Foreign Office as early as 1947 as ‘a vital prize for any power interested in world influence or domination.’ ‘Oil is designated to be controlled by the Western allies’, adds Curtis, ‘in the Middle East to ensure that industry profits accrue to Western companies and are invested in Western economies.’ To further this goal both Britain and US have backed repressive regimes in oil producing countries that are supportive of US-British interests in the region.

The US-British élites realised that western access to oil was threatened; The Saudi regime was shaky and bound to collapse, Iran was anti-west and Iraq was turning away from Britain and US. The crime of the Iraqi people was that their oil, the vital prize, was coveted by the US-British companies and they had the temerity to suggest that the prize belonged to them. In Afghanistan the reason was that Al’Qaida had to be destroyed as the organisation headed by Osama Bin Laden was opposed to the Saudi ruling family, who is the supporter of US interests in the region. The other reason is that the oil resources of Central Asia are considered to be vital to US interests. Afghanistan is located strategically to transport the oil through pipelines from Central Asia. Hence the necessity of having a change of regimes to one favourable to US-British oil needs. The Taliban had to go, as they were perceived as unreliable allies to accommodate US-British interests in the region.

Apart from its imperial past, which is largely inglorious, and its junior partner status in aiding US in its acts of aggression, which is disgraceful, there is incontrovertible evidence that Britain sponsors global terrorism through its arms trade. Britain is truly a global player in the death business. It is the world’s second largest arms exporter (after US) selling around five billion pounds worth of arms to 140 countries. For British armament industry mass murder is good business. British companies such as BAE Systems and GEC-Marconi rake in huge profits by supplying arms to unstable areas in war or civil strife. The tax subsidy for Research & Development is estimated to be in the region of one billion pounds a year. ‘ The Labour party,’ adds Curtis, ‘ holds nearly 30000 shares in BAE Systems, which is reported to have donated 5000 pounds to Labour funds in 1998 and 2000.’ According to a Report by the Campaign Against Arms Trade, the Labour party also holds shares of more than 45,000 in GEC and Vickers. The brisk sale of arms is given a fillip by arming both sides in a conflict. Notorious examples are Iran and Iraq, Greece and Turkey, China and Taiwan. Britain is also selling arms to both India and Pakistan who are locked in a senseless and bloody dispute over Kashmir.

Britain armed Indonesia, which has one of the worst human rights records in history. The blood bath in East Timor was inaugurated first by repressive Suharto regime and then continued by successive Indonesian governments until international protests stopped the genocide. The people of East Timor killed by the Indonesian Military are estimated to be in the region of half a million. The British supplied Scorpion tanks to the Indonesian Military, which were used against Indonesians protesting against military brutality and bus fare increases. Britain supplies arms to poor developing countries, for example, Botswana, Gambia, Tanzania, Zambia to name a few. With Blair, as the Chief Arms Salesman, cheerfully announcing ‘ the Labour Government would be committed to creating the conditions in which the defense industries can thrive and prosper.’ The prospects for the death merchants appear rosy.

Britain plans and executes its own brand of terrorism through its shadowy arm: the M16. The covert operations of British Intelligence are shrouded in mystery and romance. In the novels of Ian Fleming, James Bond eternally battles against villains and saves the world from catastrophe. The available evidence suggests a different picture: it is a criminal enterprise largely engaged in subversion and assassination of political leaders opposed to British interests. It planned the assassination of Nasser in a quaint manner: M16 injected poison into chocolates meant for the Egyptian Leader but Nasser did not nibble. M16 also planned to assassinate the Indonesian Leader Sukarno who was opposed to Western interests. The M15 plotted to ‘ zap’ Ugandan President Milton Obote, Mufti of Jerusalem and Subhas Chandra Bose. One of the major terrorist acts of the 1980’s was the car bombing outside a mosque, which killed eighty men, women and children and left more than two hundred injured. The agencies responsible – the CIA, Saudi Intelligence and Britain’s M16- have not been exposed and brought to book. The most shocking is the death of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold who died in 1961 when the plane exploded. The latest evidence suggests British, US, and South African involvement. The letters uncovered by Archbishop Desmond Tutu disclosed the plans to place TNT in the wheel bay of the aircraft.

The myth of the British policy being a force for good in the world is nurtured by the mainstream British media. Sordid details of British terrorism in pursuit of its hidden agenda are never exposed. Edward Herman, a media scholar, once said, ‘it is the function of experts and the mainstream media to normalise the unthinkable for the general public.’ ‘When presented in the mainstream media’, observes Curtis, ‘none of these outcomes tend to elicit the horror they deserve; all are normal.’ The brutality of Britain’s colonial past is excised from the pages of history and its collaboration with US aggression is described as noble cause. Dissent and criticism are marginalised as being one of the many views on the subject. The elite consensus dictates the debate on various issues and invisible lines are drawn beyond which no journalist can traverse. The retail violence of the victims of Western domination and its allies are described as threats to International order while wholesale massacre by the Western Powers and its client states are described as beneficial force. Disproportionate force used in form of cluster bombs, tomahawk missiles, depleted uranium shells killing women, children and men are described as necessary costs to be borne in the war against terrorism. This is Blair’s Britain where the victims are the unpeople, expendable people, who have died in the thousands whether in Iraq, or Afghanistan. They died in obscurity and lie buried in unnamed graves.

But there is a glimmering of hope: millions of people, decent men and women, all over the world have stood shoulder to shoulder and have said in one voice ‘No more blood for oil.’ For the victims of Western State Terrorism, the unpeople, there is vindication of sorts: the vigorous dissent and exemplary scholarship of Chomsky, Edward Said, and Mark Curtis and the courageous journalism of John Pilger, David Monibot, and Robert Fisk have kept alive the suffering of the vanquished. The legacy they have left behind is an important one for mankind: that the victims of Western State Terrorism shall not disappear into the black hole of official history.

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  • Arch Conservative

    David Monibot…ah the orginal moonbat.

    May I make a suggestion to the author?

    Why don’t you go fuck yourself!

  • crsridhar

    #1 Arch Conservative

    With British foreign policy fu***** humankind, it may not be a bad idea.

  • http://xx tlj

    What is this, you have a complex about America’s failed and degenerate foreign policy? It is just wanking with words.
    As Winston Churchill once said: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing……………after they’ve tried everything else.”
    [Personal attack deleted]

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    It strikes me that the main target of the article is the British policy of imperial exploitation. Before Winston Churchill was prime miniter, he was a Colonial Minster. It is to him that we owe the travesties known as Jordan and Iraq, artificial creations if there ever were ones.

    Speaking as one who wasa born in and who spent a number of decades in the United States, I’ll say that he is pretty much on the money in most of what he says. The average American overseas is a relatively decent fellow. American soldiers saving Europe from the Nazis did not need to rape everything in a skirt like the Russians did, and bought America a great deal of good will with their decent behavior.

    But their government has squandered most of it. I can see where and why I would disagree with the author on a number of things, but he has not covered them in this article, so I see no reason to bring them up.

  • cr sridhar

    #3 tlj

    I found your demented diatribe mildly amusing.I fell out my chair laughing when you quoted Churchill.Here is another quote for you-‘I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas…I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes…..gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread lively terror…” Guess who said that tlj? Not Chemical Ali but your pal Winston Churchill.

  • cr sridhar

    #4 Ruvy

    Thank you for your comments but as good friends we also differ.
    There is growing dismay that the Anglo American axis does not exactly innure to the benefit of humankind.Number of respected scholars such as Blum(killing Hope),Chalmers Johnson(Blowback)and Mark Curtis(Web of Deceit) to name a few have carefully documented the horrific slaughters visited upon other nations. I would also dissent from your view that the Second World War was entirely won by US. What about Russia? It would extremely niave to ignore the sacrifices of ordinary Russian people( not Stalin) and they suffered the worst casualties in the war. Remember the Battle of Stalingard ? Ruvy, I am sure you will agree with me,selective memory of History is not the best way to move forward.

  • giridhar

    #i agree with the author that the benevolance and high moral purpose of british foreign policy is largely a segment of imgination.this is a collective fantasy of right wing fantics and neo facist skin heads.the neo colonial omslaught on third world nations ia a continuing threat.i fully endorse his views.

  • Nancy

    Good article & extremely informative, especially as I have zero knowledge in this arena. However, in detailing British torture methods against the Malay Chinese & Mau-Mau, I’m afraid you might be giving BushCo ideas. I do know something of the Mau-mau, and from what I understand & have read, they richly deserved whatever they were subjected to, as they were themselves pretty nasty with any prisoners of their own long before the British decided turnabout was fair play. Payback is hell, as the saying goes. (NOT Winston Churchill)

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Cr;

    I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying when I talked abut the behavior of American versus Russian soldiers on the front lines.

    I do not mean to imply by any stretch of the imagination that the Red Army did not have a major role in defeating the Nazi state, nor do I imply that Russians did not make major and painful sacrifices in order to accomplish this defeat.

    I know a number of Russians who fought in the Great Patriotic War, and I know a number of Russians who are the children of veterans in that war. One sixth of this country’s population is Russian born or first generation Sabras with Russian parents.

    What I said was that American soldiers, as opposed to their Russian counterparts, did not rape everything that was in a skirt, or seem to need to. American soldiers were well enough equipped that when they entered a territory, they generally did not need to steal, as did Russians. And Russians, proud as they are of Russia, (and don’t anybody mistake this – they have intense pride in Russia) will admnit this.

    The fact that Americans were richer by far than the Russians (or Englishmen or Frenchmen, for that matter) allowed them to be generous on a personal level to the liberated peoples of Europe where they occupied it. And this generosity bought America a great deal of gratitude and good will which their government squandered.

    You mention horrific slaughters that the English and Americans visited upon Germany, Austria and Japan. This was intentional. WWII was fought as a total war, with the intent of administering a total defeat. It was clear to Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 that both Japan and Germany posed mortal threats to the United States and that part of the British Empire that had not yet been conquered.

    I realize that residents of what was then the Empire of India might look upon all of this a little differently, suffering as they did a Colour Bar and other forms of discrimination of British rule. Jews in this country debated whether to support Britain or not as well. The Brits are not the most popular of people on the planet, and their Colonial Office has brought this unpopularity upon them. It is only because the governments of Nigeria and Ghana, to pick two examples off the top of my head, are so terribly corrupt that older Nigerians or Ghanaians might look back with any kindness towards the days of British rule there.

    But in Britain and America, as well as Australia and New Zealand, the idea was to fight a total war to defeat a mortal threat.

    If you want to argue that the Americans have not been the nicest of combatants in war, I will not disagree. But one should distinguish between American soldiers, who are reflective of a very decent people and generous people – and American leaders, who are by and large mere servants of the corporate interests they serve.

  • Nancy

    Amen & ditto, Ruvy: I have said again & again, US political leaders today do NOT represent the American people, and seldom have in the historic past.

  • cr sridhar

    # Ruvy,
    Thank you for your email.
    To clarify matters I did not refer to the WWII at all when taking about the horrific slaughters of other nations perpetrated by the Anglo-American axis.That tragic history is more recent. I was referring to the War on terror.In Iraq the sanctions(with US and Britain playing active role) resulted in one million deaths mostly children. The reaction of Madeleine Albright to the question whether the deaths of children were worth it was that the price was worth paying.The nation of Iraq was also ravaged by Gulf war1&2. The war on Afghanistan was another disaster.The extensive use of depleted uranium shells and cluster bombs by USA constitutes gross violations of civilised conventions of warfare. The targeting of civilian infrastructure constitutes war crimes.

    The problem is not that the American people are not decent. I do agree with you that a lot of them are.Let me take an example of a bus out of control full of American people with the driver mowing down the pedestrians.The American passengers do not stop the bus nor the driver and are oblivious to the mayhem.Who are guilty? The driver certainly.But what about the passengers?

    But as correctly pointed out by you the main target of my article is the foreign policy of Britain which is neither benevolent nor noble.

  • Epicure

    A masterly marshalling of the facts of the case. The verdict ought to be a foregone conclusion, except ‘Who is the Judge, and who the Jury’?. Which begets another question, not rhetorical, ‘Who is on such ground as to cast the first stone’? Nobody I’m afraid.

  • Anand Menon

    Dear Ruvy…

    you mention that”What I said was that American soldiers, as opposed to their Russian counterparts, did not rape everything that was in a skirt, or seem to need to…..”
    This is what has been documented and what Sgt. MARTIN SMITH, USMC (Ret.)has to say on the matter..”The mounting revelations of war crimes in Iraq have ripped the mask of democracy and nation-building off of a fatigued and wearied Uncle Sam, revealing the true face of U.S. imperialism. At least thirty U.S. servicemen are being prosecuted or are under investigation for the murder of Iraqi civilians. Twenty-one year old Steven Green, who served in the 502nd Infantry Regiment, was charged with the gang rape and murder of a fourteen-year old Iraqi girl in Al-Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.The accused, with the assistance of five other soldiers, allegedly premeditated the attack and carried it out in broad daylight. After a drinking bout, the soldiers changed out of their uniforms and Green covered his face with a brown skivvy undershirt to avoid detection as they entered the woman’s house to commit the crime. After the sexual assault, they murdered her and poured a flammable liquid over her body to destroy the evidence. Afterwards, Green shot the victim’s parents and sister in the head, execution-style. The soldiers made a pact to never discuss the incident…..”

    So much for not skirt-chasing.

    The underlying theme of Sridhar’s article is terrrorism by the state….and by state we mean the entire apparatus which holds the reins of power…..which is usually an oligarchy….As Stephen Fleishmann put it..”I never thought I’d ever hear the United States of America called an “oligarchy”. But now I have.My dictionary says an oligarchy is a form of government where most or all political power effectively rests with a small segment of the society. As Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia, puts it, “Oligarchies are often controlled by a few powerful families whose children are raised and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy, often at some sort of expense to those governed.” Does that sound like the administration of George W. Bush?……”

    History has shown us that the state has always shown a propensity for violence…..Sridhar has called a spade a spade here …so when Ruvy says…”I realize that residents of what was then the Empire of India might look upon all of this a little differently, suffering as they did a Colour Bar and other forms of discrimination of British rule….”….he might be being a bit patronising…

    As George Monbiot said…”The more powerful a nation becomes, the more it asserts its victimhood. In contemporary British eyes, the greatest atrocities of the 18th and 19th centuries were those perpetrated on compatriots in the Black Hole of Calcutta or during the Indian mutiny and the siege of Khartoum. The extreme manifestations of the white man’s burden, these events came to symbolise the barbarism and ingratitude of the savage races the British had sought to rescue from their darkness……..”

    “…..If there is a characteristic which unites all human societies, past or present, it is surely an inordinate fondness for violence. Those who can force others to submit to their demands will do so until they meet a greater force.We tend, in the superficially peaceful communities of the rich world, to forget that violence is the underlying determinant of human relations, and that this violence, far from disappearing, has simply been distilled into a political system which both protects and threatens us.Though we may avert our eyes, our respect for the law rests upon our recognition of the state’s capacity to compel us to submit by force of arms.This, though it arose from centuries of arbitrary power, is the social contract upon which those of us who live in nations with elected governments appear to have settled…….The state claims to protect us from external aggression and the violence of the powerful, and in return we surrender to it (unless we live in America) our weapons and our own capacity for violence…….The paradox of governance is that a state which is sufficiently powerful to protect the weak against the strong is also sufficiently powerful to crush the weak….Without protection, the weak are trampled by the strong..”

    In the present scheme of things it clearly appears that Tony Blair who claims to represent Britain has chosen to become George Bush’s lapdog and further the “common cause”…perhaps out of some misplaced messianic sense of destiny(maybe it’s just business as usual).Many people say Bush is an idiot,he’s losing the war in Iraq(EVER notice how everybody says War IN Iraq and not War ON Iraq?)As Gary Leupp remarked”…It is not enough to ask if the president is an idiot. We must ask why the Congress and mainstream media have cheered the idiocy on so long, and actively contributed to it. They’re like the townspeople in Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, praising the new clothes of the butt-naked king. But in the story, once the little boy calls out, “The emperor has no clothes!” the individuals in the crowd, having been frightened into thinking only idiots couldn’t see the monarch’s elegant new attire, come to their senses and realize they’ve been hoodwinked. The word’s been out on the street for a long time that this president is an idiot—surrounded by shysters as cunning as the tailors in the Anderson tale……Instead the political class and the media have maintained a united front in support of the idiotic proposition that 9-11 justifies U.S.-forced regime change in any country that Washington decides to call “terrorist”…..”

    As General Douglas MacArthur, said….”Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.”

    And as Noam Chomsky said..”we can be reasonably confident that viewing the world through a bombsight will bring further misery and suffering, perhaps even in “apocalyptic terms”.

    State run terrorism often results in a huge mess…guess who has to do all the clearing up afterwards?…..like here in India the opposition/shadow cabinets don’t seem to offer very much in terms of a viable difference in foreign policy….it would appear that politicians are the same colour everywhere….columnist Dave Lindorff said…”The Democrats in Congress are having trouble coming up with a position on the War in Iraq because they are so afraid of Republican charges that they are the “cut and run” party.It’s a pathetic spectacle, and they should give it up. The way I see it “cut and run” is the slogan the Democrats should adopt as their own for the 2006 election year.Democrats: the party of cut and run.But I’m not talking about the war.The “cut” should be for cutting the defense budget. That gets us to the second part of the slogan: the “run” part. And here’s where the real fun starts. For the last five years, we’ve had an administration that has proven it can’t run anything. Look at the record: Bush has run the government into the ground, run the military into a ditch, run the nation’s international reputation into the sewer, run our schools into crisis, run the budget off the rails, run away from his responsibility to protect the nation, and literally run away from taking the blame for any of his countless mistakes.How inspiring it would be–and what a blessed relief–to have a party that was committed to actually “running” the government for a change……”

    ….So for crying out loud stop ganging up on poor Sridhar willya?…..and that includes those moonbats and wankers who call themselves “arch conservative” and “tlj”(wonder if that stands for totally loud jack-ass)….and since Mr.tlj seems very keen on quoting Churchill…lets see if he can solve Mickey Z’s stupid white man quiz…

    Here’s what he says….”The rules are simple. I provide a quote and you guess which Stupid White Man (or wannabe) is responsible.”

    QUOTE #1: “The destruction was mutual.” (Explaining why the U.S. should not
    apologize to Vietnam)

    a) Richard Nixon
    b) Ronald Reagan
    c) Alexander Haig
    d) Jimmy Carter

    QUOTE #2: “A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. Today’s military rejects include tomorrow’s hard-core unemployed.”

    a) Wesley Clark
    b) John F. Kennedy
    c) Norman Schwarzkopf
    d) Colin Powell

    QUOTE #3: “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot…I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.”

    a) Barbara Bush
    b) Mother Teresa
    c) Oprah Winfrey
    d) Bill Gates

    QUOTE #4: “Am I prepared to go get them before they get us if we locate them and have sufficient intelligence? You bet I am. I will never allow any other country to veto what we need to do and I will never allow any other institution to veto what we need to do to protect our nation.”

    a) George W. Bush
    b) Donald Rumsfeld
    c) Dick Cheney
    d) John F. Kerry

    QUOTE #5: “Which is more important in world history: The Taliban or the fall of the Soviet Empire? A few over-excited Islamicists or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?” (Rationalizing the arming of the Islamic extremists in Afghanistan, including Osama bin Laden, who have since been blamed for the attacks on 9/11.)

    a) Paul Wolfowitz
    b) Zbignew Brzezinski
    c) George H.W. Bush
    d) Ariel Sharon

    QUOTE #6: “There is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”

    a) Abraham Lincoln
    b) Ann Coulter
    c) David Duke
    d) Rush Limbaugh

    QUOTE #7: “Put down those sprouts and pick up a T-bone!”

    a) Dr. Atkins
    b) Michael Moore
    c) Ted Nugent
    d) Jeb Bush

    QUOTE #8: “Freedom is about authority.”

    a) John Ashcroft
    b) Tom Ridge
    c) Rudy Giuliani
    d) Al Gore

    QUOTE #9: “Racism isn’t holding blacks back, it’s their own laziness!”

    a) Bill O’Reilly
    b) Bill Bennett
    c) Bill Clinton
    d) Bill Cosby

    QUOTE #10: “There is nothing wrong with doing something that benefits all humanity, but that is, in a sense, a second-order effect.”

    a) Henry Kissinger
    b) Jesse Jackson
    c) Condoleezza Rice
    d) Dan Rather

    (Answers: 1-d, 2-b, 3-b, 4-d, 5-b, 6-a, 7-b, 8-c, 9-d, 10-c)

    I leave you with the wondrous sight of tlj scratching his head trying to come up with some answers…:)))

    Cheers
    Anand Menon

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Anand,

    You found one documented case of rape among American soldiers in Iraq. And from this you implied that the vast majority of American soldiers are rapists normally.

    When Russian soldiers occupied a place, rape and pillage was assumed to be the appropriate behavior, and nobody bothered to investigate… From their point of view, there was nothing to investigate.

    There is a world of difference from soldiers thoroughly investigated and imprisoned for raping someone in an occupied country, and the attitude that if you weren’t raped, you should shut up and count your blessings.

    “so when Ruvy says…’I realize that residents of what was then the Empire of India might look upon all of this a little differently, suffering as they did a Colour Bar and other forms of discrimination of British rule’ ….he might be being a bit patronising…”

    In WWII, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were white countries and all percieved each other to be equal. Residents of the Empire of India were not white and were not perceived as equal by the colonial government. That is a straight cold statement of fact. It is not patronizing to conclude that an individual expected to put his life on the line for a colonial occupier would view the interests of that colonial occupier differently than the resident of a free and independent country fighting in an alliance. It is a reasonable conclusion to draw.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    By all standards the Shah’s regime topped the torture charts.

    Are you clinically insane or did you just get carried away with your rhetoric?

    Even by the standards of that more brutal era the Shah was a benevolent dictator. Yes, there were abuses of power, but he modernized the country, allowed a great many freedoms and his role was beneficial for the people as a whole. I’ve talked to a great many expatriats who left in recent years and they universally praise his regime in comparison with what came after.

    The Shah was no worse than Peron or Pinochet or Franco or Tito or a score of other 2nd-string dictators of the era and enormously better than the hardcore dictators of that time like Idi Amin and Pol Pot.

    Dave

  • doubting thomas

    Ruvy
    your comment’You found one documented case of rape among American soldiers in Iraq’ as not suggesting large scale incidents of rape should be balanced with the evidence of rape in Okinawa(Japan)where US has its military base.Here Ruvy you seem to be skating on thin ice.

    The criticism of large scale rape comes from the ally of US, namely, Japan.

    The conservative Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun which studied bookings at the Okinawan Prefectural Police Headquaters alleged that US service were implicated in 4716 crimes between 1972 and 1995 under General Myers command.

    Dayton Daily News investigated one hundred thousand court-martial records going back to 1988 and found that 169 incidents charged were for sexual assaults. The incidents of rape could be under reported as there is natural reluctance on the part of rape victims to come forward as it is a humiliating experience under their culture.

    Another disturbing aspect of the matter is that the military allowed number of sex offenders go scot free despite the convictions.The Nation magazine concluded that covering up sexual assault is Pentagon policy.

    An organization called Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence was formed to protest against sexual violence.

    I would agree with you to a limited extent that all US servicemen and American people cannot be tarred with the same brush.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Doubting,

    An occupation lasting several decades is one thing. A liberation is another. My comparison to the Russians does not address the issues of an occupation of a territory that is many thousands of miles from home, with little contact with women from one’s own culture for decade after decade. While it is deplorable and wrong that American soldiers rape young Japanese women in Okinawa, it comes as no surprise considering the length of trhe occupation there.

    IN WWII, American soldiers did not have to resort to rape and plunder as did Russians in liberating land from Nazis. Thus they generated good-will amongst most of the inhabitants there. An extended occupation, as occurred in Okinawa or as continues in Korea, creates all sorts of issues that a brief liberation does not.

    We’re comparing apples and oranges here.

  • doubting thomas

    # Dave Nalle

    Ah yes Dave another spin on benevolent dictators friendly to US interests.

    Digest this fact Dave-In 1975, Amnesty International observed “Shah’s Iran had the highest rate of death penalties in the world, no valid system of civilian courts and a history of torture which is beyond belief.No country in the world has a worse record in human rights than Iran.”

    Iran Analyst Barry concluded that the prisoners were subjected to horrendous torture, equal to the worst ever devised while the entire population was subjected to a constant all-pervasive terror.

    Their history does not record whether the modernisation of Shah’s regime was felt by the prisoners in the SAVAK torture cells.

    Now Dave tell us who is clinically insane?

  • doubting thomas

    Ruvy
    Operation Barbarossa was conducted against the Russian people with a viciousness unparalled in human history.Hitler instructed his Generals to conduct the invasion of Russia unmercifully and with unrelenting harshness. The Russian women were raped systematically and killed by the Germans. The Americans did not suffer such a fate as the Russians did.Hitler’s battle did not touch American territory.

    Russia and Hitler’s Germany were locked in a deadly fight to finish.Compare the casulties of the Russians to that of the other allies and you will know what I mean.

    The point is in the heat of the battle with the Germans such excesses do occur(as you point out) but which cannot be condoned.But the question is- is not rape by soldiers during peace time a more serious issue?
    Are we comparing apples with oranges?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    My background in Russian history is a bit deeper than yours, Doubting Thomas. The behavior I have ascribed to Russian soldiers was the norm in the Russian Civil War as well WWI. This goes beyond Operation Barbarossa.

    As to the behavior of Russian occupation forces in Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1989, which would deal with the issue of rape during peacetime, I cannot make claims, having no data, either anectdotal or statistical.

  • doubting thomas

    Ruvy,
    You appear to be skirting the issue.To restate the proposition: If the American people would have been treated with the same brutality as the Russians were by the Germans during WW2 would you expect the American soldiers to observe drawing room manners? The answer is probably no. In short the behaviour of American soldiers cannot be compared to that of the Russians as Americans and Russians experienced differentlevels of brutality at the hands of the Germans during WW2.Aren’t you comparing apples to oranges?

  • Anand Menon

    Right Ruvy,
    lets stick to some things on which we are in agreement
    You said to Sridhar”If you want to argue that the Americans have not been the nicest of combatants in war, I will not disagree. But one should distinguish between American soldiers, who are reflective of a very decent people and generous people – and American leaders, who are by and large mere servants of the corporate interests they serve…”….
    I agree with your statement,I also agree with Sridhar when he says…”I would agree with you to a limited extent that all US servicemen and American people cannot be tarred with the same brush.”

    I also want to add that standards of recruiting fresh troops in the U.S Army have fallen in the last few decades and especially in the last few years.Now we come to the question of why standards are lowered.Which brings us to the military leadership in question which has the power and authority to deal with such incidents but chooses to shove the issue under the carpet and ultimately the political leadership above that military command .Our discusions have digressed into rape,but what we are talking off is rape as a metaphor….. a rape of a people by a completely amoral leadership,a political leadership which serves corporate interests and which deludes itself into beleiving that it can pull of what it intended to do in the first place whatever the cost .When you have such a situation then standards will continue to be low. We have seen recruitment videos of riffraff literally picked off the streets and drafted into the U.S Army.It is an all too obvious fact that when standards are lowered/allowed to be lowered then things like rape happen.It would well do to remember that U.S troops are stretched to the limit in holding just one country, namely Iraq.As Peter Spiegel writes…”The Army, with an active-duty force of 504,000, has been stretched by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. About 400,000 have done at least one tour of combat duty, and more than a third of those have been deployed twice. Commanders have increasingly complained of the strain, saying last week that sustaining current levels will require more help from the National Guard and Reserve or an increase in the active-duty force….”Now why is the U.S stretched to the limit?Because it is not very popular there.And why is it not popular?.It is because of the policies followed by the very same political leadership.Which brings us back to the theme of the main article by Sridhar which is Western State Terrorism which alludes to those very same policies.Lets be clear here….we are talking about policies not peoples…Ruvy also writes..”While it is deplorable and wrong that American soldiers rape young Japanese women in Okinawa, it comes as no surprise considering the length of trhe occupation there….”…..If one were to go by this piece of logic one would have to call for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq….they have been there a bloody long time there haven’t they?…Anyway…There are many things to admire about the Americans and many things also where they would have to bow their heads in shame if only,if only they had the humility,good sense and grace to admit they have made mistakes in the past and continue to do them in the present and may likely continue to commit such mistakes in the future .The objective of the article is not to blame the British or the Americans .It is to sound a warning.It is to say if only you guys could look at the larger picture.And what is that larger picture?When imperial governments invest their precious resources in waging a war on a people instead of investing that money in its own health,social structure/assets or education then things go downhill…..Some commentatorsin the U.S have already alluded to it by saying this is the beginning of the end of America….especially America the Empire….

    Lets start with Noam Chomsky who writes…”the American ‘system’ as a whole is in real trouble – that it is heading in a direction that spells the end of its historic values [of] equality, liberty, and meaningful democracy.” ..Chomsky also adds…….”No one familiar with history should be surprised that the growing democratic deficit in the United States is accompanied by declaration of messianic missions to bring democracy to a suffering world. Declarations of noble intent by systems of power are rarely complete fabrication, and the same is true in this case. Under some conditions, forms of democracy are indeed acceptable. Abroad, as the leading scholar-advocate of “democracy promotion” concludes, we find a “strong line of continuity”: democracy is acceptable if and only if it is consistent with strategic and economic interests (Thomas Carothers). …”

    Chalmers Johnson writes…”There is something absurd and inherently false about one country trying to impose its system of government or its economic institutions on another. Such an enterprise amounts to a dictionary definition of imperialism. When what’s at issue is “democracy,” you have the fallacy of using the end to justify the means (making war on those to be democratized), and in the process the leaders of the missionary country are invariably infected with the sins of hubris, racism, and arrogance. …”

    Brian Cloughley writes…”At the time when Bush began his war in March last year I ended an article titled ‘One Law for America’ by observing that “We have seen the future and it is terrifying, because international laws and agreements mean nothing to Bush and his officials. When useful, they are quoted. When inconvenient they are ignored. There is one law for America–and none, in the eyes of Bush, for those who dare disagree with him.”
    There has been no change since then. There is no fading, not the slightest reduction, in the Bush administration’s obstinate and blinkered zeal for total control at home and saber-brandishing supremacy abroad.But sometimes one can have a deep belly-laugh at the mindset that created the One Law Doctrine, if only because its exponents are so obsessive that their self-deception has become as ludicrous as it is dangerous. Their posturing is not just illogical but decidedly funny, albeit it in a manner suited to the Theatre of the Absurd, in which mankind is held to inhabit a universe with which it is doomed forever to be out of synchrony. The playwright Eugene Ionesco mused that “I look and see pictures, creatures that move in a kind of timeless time and spaceless space emitting sounds that are a kind of language I no longer understand or ever register.” And so it is with the inhabitants of Fortress Bush, for they do not, cannot, will not relate to real time, extant space, or meaningful language. They are doomed, in their own Theatre of the Absurd, forever to be out of synchrony with the universe.”

    Joe Bageant writes…”Supposedly, if you put live frogs in a kettle of cold water on the stove, then raise the temperature very slowly, the frogs will eventually boil to death without trying to escape. I don’t know if that is true, but it does seem the perfect, if sometimes overused, analogy for what we see going on around us in America. My guess is that we frogs are about medium done for. Having never cooked frogs or lived in a fascist state, I am not a practiced judge of these things, but I’m quite sure the end result of either is in no way desirable for frogs or human beings….”

    Niranjan Ramakrishnan writes…”All the same, history repeats itself, does it not? According to the famous quote, first as tragedy, then as farce.
    George W. is pedantic in 3rd grade English. His knit eyebrows, narrowed eyes and smirking bring a frightening realization that he really thinks in the language he speaks.The Mahabharata asks a rhetorical question, “What is the final step in the ladder of success?” It answers, “Defeat”.

    At some point the chickens are going to come home to roost……at which point we should all shrug like Donald Rumsfeld and say”….stuff happens…”

    Cheers
    Anand

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    OK, gentlemen, let’s cut to the chase here.

    Wars are popular when the public clearly understands the motives, which more often than not means a war of self defense against a clear aggressor.

    The attack on the World Trade Center, assuming that Americans are not being snowed altogether, was perpetrated by Al Qaeda, a Saudi based guerilla force that got training in Afghanistan from the United States but is devoted to the Wahhabi ideal of “Allah’s way or the highway.” The Saudi monarchy can sing about how Al Qaeda is a terror threat to it all it desires to do so. The blunt fact of the matter is that Al Qaeda and the Saudi monarchy are differnt wings of the same movement of Wahhabi dominance of the world…

    The clear aggressor was Al Qaeda, a branch office of the Saudi monarchy.

    So what is the logical response? On 11 September, 2001, the logical response of an Amdrican president who gives a damn about his country is to round up every damned Saudi of importance and toss him into the clinker while giving the key to Fido ’round his neck.

    The next response is to announce that Islam is a religion of peace (even though at this point it isn’t – yet) and to make clear that Moslems in the United States are not to be targetted.

    The next step is to invade Saudi Arabia and occupy its oilfields and imprison its royal family – and all the princes across the provinces – and to invite King Abdallah II to return to Medina and resume his post of Sherif of Mecca and Medina, th post his great grandfather lost in the 1920’s when the ibn Sauds drove him out of Mecca and Medina.

    Result?

    You have a popular war on your hands where people are looking to sign up and fight the good fight.

    What is the next move? To cleanse Islam of the Wahhabi influence throught the world. Deprived of Saudi money the Wahhabi would be reduced to what they ought to be, starveling bastards unwilling to accept Islam on ITS terms, rather than the other way around.

    But, as we all know, this was NOT the next move. Instead, because the Bush family is in the employ of the Saudis, instead of the American people, a war was pursued elsewhere, first Afghanistan, and then Iraq. Both looked good on their face, but the Americans could have unhorsed Saddam Hussein and left, with an American “governor-general” to get things in order.

    So, now these wars are unpopular and the United States needs to scrape the bottom of its barrel to get kids to sign up and put their lives on the line.

    That is what has happened. So that explains the decline in the quality of Americn soldiers.

    I’m talking here as an American ex-pat who is unlikely to return the land of his birth. I feel bad over this – but there is nothing that I could have done to change it. I have other fish to fry.

    Shabbat Shalom
    from Hill of Frankincense in the mountains north of Jerusalem, the Eternal capital of the Jewish People

  • Silver Surfer

    If I didn’t know any better Socrates, I might have believed all this nonsense because you’ve packaged it so nicely and made it sound like you know what you’re talking about.

    But when you are talking about the indiscretions of the British security agencies and keep calling the international branch M16, like the American-made rifle, I start to wonder where you got your info and how you could possibly know it’s correct when you can’t even get that right.

    It’s MI6, old boy, as in CIA. An I, not a 1. But you didn’t know that, did you. Regurgitate it all from some communist bollocks sheet somewhere did we?

    And mate, you probably should let everyone know that the poor Chinese workers were a murderous bunch of misguided communist insurgents funded and armed by the Chinese and in some cases through Indonesia, both of which were intent on causing more destabilisation in the region.

    That Malaya, now the Islamic state of Malaysia, is one of the most stable countries in the region, and has one of Asia’s highest standards of living, probably just shows that the British course of action in defeating the insurgency was probably the right one – especially for the Malays.

    Another Vietnam wasn’t really going to be a good thing, now was it?