Colonialism 101

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American hawks have been praising Tony Blair as a new Churchill. James Pinkerton explains why that's not such a compliment, at least when the subject is Iraq.

[Via Light of Reason.]

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  1. I always find it interesting when the so-called advocates of limited government advocate the opposite when it comes to brown people. Its the sort of “affirmative action” that they can get behind.

  2. Cheap shot, pulling the “race card” Gary. Too bad that is all that remains of the anti-war argument. Someday you will regret these cheap shots, as you have marginalized your cause and prevented any future construtive debate which may have been relevent in post-War Iraq.

  3. Lazarus Long,

    Cry me a river. Whine, whine, whine. The fact is that it is true. These people simply doe not believe third worlders have the ability to govern themselves, thus they must be governed. It has all the moral worth of affirmative action. If you don’t like the parallel, then that’s likely because it holds a great deal of truth.

  4. Gary,
    Are you really saying that you think this war with Iraq is about racism? Aren’t there many other countries out there with people darker than Iraq? Do you think South Africa, India, and Mexico will be next? You remind me of the judge in Pink Floyd’s The Wall- he had an ass where his head is supposed to be. If you don’t like the parallel, then that’s likely because it holds a great deal of truth.

  5. I think Gary’s point isn’t that we want to govern ALL Third World countries, but rather that Third World countries are the only ones we’d ever think we could invade and take over. We’re falling all ourselves to rename Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast, for example, but no one has suggested we make France an American protectorate. Nor was invading Russia ever a possibility, even at the height of the Cold War. There are reasons other than racism for this, of course — and very valid reasons. But name me one single predominately Caucasian country we’d ever think of treating like Iraq. Or Vietnam, for that matter.

  6. GG, the fact that the “third-worlders” are “third-worlders” to begin with is what speaks to their ability to govern (or lack thereof).

    It may seem like affirmative action (or at least it would if the Bushies were specifically advocating the overthrow of all the other corrupt governments of the world), but race has nothing to do with it, clearly. I’d thought we’d put that canard to rest, even among the “It’s all about oil” set.

  7. When did I ever say it was about “racism?”

  8. Regarding the article, Churchill didn’t have a very enlightened view of Indian independence either. And if you read his accounts of the Boer war as well as the war against the “Mahdi” in the Sudan, you’ll see that he enjoyed the deaths of brown people no matter what color they were.

  9. Regarding the article, Churchill didn’t have a very enlightened view of Indian independence either. And if you read his accounts of the Boer war as well as the war against the “Mahdi” in the Sudan, you’ll see that he enjoyed the deaths of brown people no matter what color they were.

  10. Well, Gary, you said “advocate the opposite when it comes to brown people.” And you mentioned affirmitive action. Were you talking about people with nice tans? I’ve reread your first statement above several times and cannot see how you were talking about anything other than racism.

    And Jude, was Milosevic not sufficiently white for you? Isn’t Germany, and I guess the rest of Europe, an American protectorate? Although the reasons for going to war are definitely different, I think the administrations hope of Iraq after the war is very similar to Germany after WWII.

  11. Harry Tuttle,

    Well, (a) “brown people” actually is in reference to as I recall Ghandi’s use of the term, meaning the colonized generally, no matter what color they are, and (b) affirmative action is not used exclusively for matters of race (e.g., gender, ethnicity, national origin, etc. have all been the subject of affirmative action programs).

  12. So now “brown” doesn’t mean brown. Does “people” still mean people, or can it mean animals now?

  13. geophile,

    I believe my explanation was adequately clear.

  14. Gary,
    I’m still unclear on what you meant. And were you talking about the present situation, or WWI? If you were refering to Churchill, I think it is widely accepted that there was a sickening form of elitism in England. I don’t like defending Bush- he may be a racist for all I know- but I think it is pretty clear that is not the issue here.
    Also, I’d like to apologize for my “you have an ass for a head” comment. It was just a cheap way of turning your implication that if one doesn’t agree with something, then it must be true comment back on you.

  15. Harry Tuttle,

    Well, I think it is as equally true for Churchill as it is today for those who want to re-establish a colonial order in some parts of the world (obviously China would be a bit reluctant to be carved up into “spheres of influence” again, but you get the picture). Ghandi made a comment once that “brown people,” and by this I’ve always thought he meant colonized people generally, were always the focus of imperialist programs based on derogatory notions regarding their character – you know, Rudyard Kipling and the whole bit about the “white man’s burden.” In my eyes this is a version of affirmative action, especially if you take the whole Wilsonian notion of national self-determination seriously. If my remark is obscure, I apologize for the confusion.

    Does that clear up my comment? Thanks.

  16. But name me one single predominately Caucasian country we’d ever think of treating like Iraq. -Jude

    Name me a predominately Caucasion country governed by a sadistic dictator who murders his own people, conquers its neighbors, is violating the terms of a war-imposed truce, and is building weapons of mass destruction to employ against the US or our allies. I think we’d consider treating them that way.

    For example, if Germany were run by a Fascist dictator who had invaded Poland and France, I think we’d consider going to war with them. Or, if the Russians took over several countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, declared themselves our enemies, and announced a massive program to take over the world, we’d probably have a major military buildup, gear up for war, establish garrisons all around, invest hundreds of billions in deterrent weapons. . .

  17. Actually, Iraq IS a caucasian country. Caucasoids are one of the three major races–and is named after the Caucasus Mountains that stand between the Caspian and Black Seas and seperate the main mass of the old Soviet Union from Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Caucasoids are so-named because it was where the earliest evidence of the Cro-Magnons.

  18. >>Caucasoids are one of the three major races–

  19. Tuning Spork,

    That is if you believe in 19th century anthropology. As I understand it, on a genetic level generally, the idea of races is a bit passe.

  20. Gary, yeah, I know, I know. I learned about the “three major races” as a kid; my understanding is that it’s been made largely obsolete. I was addressing only the ironic categorizing of Iraqis as non-Caucasians. What is germane to my intended point, then, is the etymology of the word “Caucasian”, and not any current anthropological status of the ontological nomenclature of oh why don’t I just shut up now…

  21. EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
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    DATE: 01/20/2004 12:13:09
    Cultivated people foster what is good in others, not what is bad. Petty people do the opposite.

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