Colonial Wars Update
An update on what’s going on in the three new colonies set up by the Bush administration in his efforts to make the world a better place. (Of course making the world a better place means installing pro-American administrations in resource rich areas of the world.) I am of course talking about Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. And by colonies and colonial wars, I mean just that. In all three cases Bush decreed that the locals had no right to run their own affairs, and with the blessing of the UN had them invaded and occupied. And of course after the “objectionable” governments were removed from power, western approved “governments” were set up. This is just plain old fashioned colonialism, dressed up a bit in modern propaganda. Us civilized westerners are showing those poor brown people how to run their countries for their own good.
There’s many amazing things about this situation to rant about The first is the media’s almost complete cooperation in this process. In all three cases the media routinely uses colonial propaganda if it were describing fact. In all cases the original local governments of these countries are referred to as “taking over” their nations, as if they were some sort of hostile invading force. This is quite literally akin to saying George Washington “took over” the United States. Most would find fault with that statement, but have no problem seeing the Taliban or the Islamic Courts or Saddam portrayed as hostile malevolent conquerers. Now granted I am not saying Saddam was a Washington, far from it, but I am saying that in all three cases the country in question was more or less unified with the support of large segments of the population…something that can’t be claimed about any of our subsequent “liberated” governments.
And as an aside, for those who would make the point about the American Revolution being about human rights and democracy…it wasn’t exactly a model democracy for the millions of slaves whose sub human status was written right into the US Constitution. And hundreds of thousands of Americans whose only crime was supporting their legal King, had everything they owned confiscated and were run out of the country. Many were simply lynched. More on the dark side of the American Revolution in a subsequent post, and on the positive side of it as well. The main point here is that George Washington’s United States was a legitimate government because it had the support of the lion’s share of the local population…a legitimacy we deny in the case of Saddam’s Baath party, the Taliban, and the Islamic Courts.
In fact the USA has gone so far now as to officially designate which of the world’s governments are legitimate or not, as if we have some God-like power to translate our vision into reality. The reality is that for the people of the nations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia…the American and American sponsored liberating armies are regarded about as highly as the typical American colonist regarded the Redcoats. Which of course explains why insurgencies are raging in all three lands. And which of course leads to the quick update the title promised. Hopefully in a more accurate way than what little appears about these tragic lands in the news:
Iraq: Well, Iraq is complicated, as I have said before. The insurgency is at a low ebb, for a number of reasons, the least of which is that the surge is working or that we are “winning.” In fact our chosen government of Iraq is more aligned with Iran now than the USA, has refused to sign a long term agreement with us, and may even ask us to leave. In any event our UN mandate to be in Iraq expires at the end of the year, so it’s anyone’s guess what will happen until then. Most factions are hunkering down to see what happens, Iraq is still a terribly fractured and violent land by any accounting. It should also be pointed out that the violence is down because most of Iraq’s neighbourhoods have now been ethnically cleansed. That’s victory?
Afghanistan: Not good. In fact the monthly casualties in Afghanistan just exceeded those of Iraq for the first time. The Taliban never really went away, and are more or less waiting in the shadows to step forward when the coast is clear. They recently “took over” a number of villages near Khandalar, their historic stronghold, for example. What the media invariably fails to mention is that the Taliban “taking over” of a village is almost always bloodless and even welcomed by the locals. Since of course the Taliban fighters and officials are locals. Yet when we “liberate” a village from the Taliban, it involves air strikes, artillery, and lots of dead locals. Again, something people should think about more, because the implications are hard to weasel-word out of. Which is why it’s never mentioned in the media.
Somalia: The forgotten bastard child in Bush’s colonial triple play. In fact Somalia is so low on our priority list that we didn’t even “liberate” it ourselves, we hired an army of black soldiers to do the dirty work. Again, isn’t that delicious in a historical ironical sort of way? The Confederates would be proud…the Union hiring a black army to subjugate an even lesser regarded people, Arabs. Are Arabs are the new niggers?
To recap, the Islamic Courts, a local politcal movement in Somalia, quickly and almost bloodlessly assumed control over much of Somalia including the capitol Mogadishu a few years back. They established peace and law and order for the first time in a decade or more, forcing local warlords to stand down from their endless internecine clan wars. The west’s (Bush’s) response was to sponsor an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia to install the UN approved “transitional” government. The result has been predictable, the Ethiopians are bogged down in a bloody insurgency. And almost none of this makes the western news.
Except here. Tomorrow, the American Revolution…the good, the bad, and the ugly.
(The above image of Boer troops is public domain under US copyright law. I chose it because the British suppression of the Boers is little different than the USA’s current colonial wars. Plus it’s another cool old photo, click here to see the full size version.)