2ndlook

New Empire Builders – Neo-Cons Sneaking In

Posted in Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on February 27, 2008

This North-South global compact … would consign … despotisms to the obscurity which the old “salt empires” of the Tortuga and Turks islands, critical to … Royal Navy, were reduced once we had overcome our saline dependency. Posted by Shri Brendan Simms (Reader in the History of International Relations at the Centre of International Studies at the University of Cambridge)

Meet The Neo-Cons

The Social Affairs Unit is a what is called these days a neo-con think tank. Unfortunately, it is neither neo nor about thought – but is definitely a con.

And the blog of one of their stars is published at their site. Shri Brendan Simms, a reader in History, I am sure, knows that what he is saying is wrong.

In this post, (linked above) Simms is proposing certain actions that “would consign the Middle Eastern despotisms to the obscurity which the old “salt empires” of the Tortuga and Turks islands, critical to the eighteenth-century Royal Navy, were reduced once we had overcome our saline dependency.”

Oil Prices – Western Democracies Are Being Held To Ransom

Simms, (like most neo-cons), has various problems in life. He starts with his western capitalist democracies find themselves held to ransom.” Mr.Simms, how many of your glorious Western democracies, have elected a single Black head of state in the last 100 years? Or a Muslim head of State? America, your epitome of a Western democracy, is struggling to nominate a woman Presidential candidate after 200 years of Republican democracy? Or am I being naive in raising these questions?

Coming to the ransom bit, is Simmie-boy getting this feeling because of the price that the Middle East is charging for oil. Simms Dearie, I know the feeling, believe me! We Indians have been through that. It is the similar feeling that we in India, (and developing countries) used to get while negotiating for food purchases (called aid) after the Bengal Famine and while rebuilding collapsed agriculture economies in post colonial India.

Ban The Business Burqa

All that OPEC wants is a market driven price. Any problems, Simmie? Why does the West not explore and drill for oil along their huge off shore areas and kill their dependence on oil. If the Oil producers are wary of the dollar price due to depreciating dollar, who can you blame.

If the West led by ‘helicopter Ben’ wants to print more dollars, who will pay the price ? The rest of this gullible world? Does Simms think, that oil rich countries will ship out limited oil resources with the same speed that Bernanke prints money – or helicopter drop dollars?

The Saudi Wealth

Simms feels bad that the Saudis “could buy General Motors with just six days of production.” At least, in this scenario, the Saudis are buying US companies with US currency as per the valuation done by US stock markets. It is not based on slave labour, which is what the British operated in the Turks and Tortugas – in the Caribbean.

Millions of captured Black Africans toiled (and died) in the Caribbean, to create wealth and luxury for Britain – the comfort of which he now uses to “consign the Middle Eastern despotisms to the obscurity … of Tortuga and Turks islands, were reduced once we had overcome our … dependency”

Iraqi Invasion

What Were The Turks & Caicos Islands

These were slave islands – and part of the Caribbean group of islands which were used by the British Navy to run their slave colonies. To call these ‘despotisms’ is right – but these were British slave despotisms.

The ‘salt colonies’ are not as well known as the ‘sugar colonies’ – Haiti, Cuba, Demerra, Trinidad and other West Indian Islands, and the millions of slaves that were imported and subsequently died. Similarly, millions of local Native American populations were wiped out. And of course, once their usefulness, was over, the European powers walked away.

Of course, some of these islands have become colonies, of the USA, Britain and the people there continue to serve the interests of these Western nations. Haiti, Cuba, Granada have been made an example of by Britain and USA, for trying to make a country of themselves. A lot of such places would be quite happy without the British attention they received – and subsequent ruin that they faced.

Privateers, slave traders and pirates were licensed to operate from these islands, by the British Government to loot – and kill.

Gertrude Margaret Lowthian BellCome To The Middle East Despots

After the WW1, the victorious allies carved up the entire Ottoman Empire – which stretched from the Middle East to Central Asia to the Eastern Europe.

Out of the Ottaman Empire, Iraq was carved up and King Faysal was put on the throne. A British amatuer Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell made the selection of the King Of Iraq. This new King did not even know his kingdom – and he was taken around by his new makers. Similarly, an amateur like TE Lawrence (never mind the propaganda) was used to determine the fate of the Middle East.

TE LawrenceWW1 resulted in the Balfour Declaration, which promised a Jewish homeland, to be carved out of the Ottaman Empire. Saudi Arabia was similarly made up.

By 1916, Britain, France and Russia had signed the secretive Sykes-Picot Pact – a framework for the division of the Ottoman Empire after the future defeat of the Turks. While the WW1 was going on, a civil war broke out in Russia. Kerensky, a member of the moderate Labor party, Lenin, Trotsky et al of the Bolshevik Party, overthrew the Tsar and assumed power in February 1917.

Till 1923, the Russian Civil War continued, to the defeat of Kerensky and his White Army in 1923. Kerensky wished to continue war alongside Britain and France. Lenin broke ranks, and in October 1917, the Russian-Communists started negotiations for a peace treaty with Germany. In 1918 the Treaty Of Brest Litovsk followed. After the end of WW1, Britain and France did not honor Russia’s claim under the Sykes Picot Pact. Russians retaliated and were actively involved in destabilizing the Middle East for the next 50 years, by playing of one Middle East Country against another.

Thus the entire Middle East was put on shaky political ground. Exploitative commercial contracts favoring Anglo Saxon bloc of countries were signed with these puppet governments – and the rest of the story is being played out for the last 90 years. Hobbyists decided fates of million of people.

So Mr.Simms, these Middle Eastern despots, are a creation of Western Foreign Policy - of which you claim a College Readership.

Western Investments

“West invest blood and treasure to make the Middle East a better place” out of the milk of human kindness Mr.Simms? All investments that the west has made is by the loot from Canada, Australia, Africa – and of course, India. Out of magnamity, if we call old accounts quits, current Western investments have been made for reasons of commercial self interest. Sell your Western assets, Mr.Simms, if they are not profitable enough. Possibly, it is equivalent to one hours oil production for the Saudis – and they will buy you guys out.

Regarding the blood in the Middle East, it is the poor Arabs, Palestinians, Iraqis, Kurds, Afghans, Pakistanis who are spilling it. Western blood (whatever little) is being spilt for brazen extortion. The Middle East has become a quagmire after the West decided to intervene.

Right Wing Paranoaia

Saudi foreign policy – Export of extremist Islamist ideology

And what is the foreign policy of the West Mr.Simms. Instability in Africa, Middle East. Every terror hotspot is a creation of the West – and specifically, America. And amongst others, we in India, pay a price for this. When you demonise Islam, they pay a price.

Partnerships With The West?

What partnerships are you talking about, Mr.Simms?

The kind that you has with the Turks and Tortugas? The kind that you had when the West put incompetent Emirs and Shaikhs on the various thrones of the Middle East – and now want to ‘consign to obscurity.’ After they helped you to weaken your Cold War enemy. After they have given you 60 years of luxury – with cheap oil.

Why Wont You Accept Criticism

Now these are the points that I made on your blog, Mr. Simms – 2 weeks ago. Why the hesitation in publishing those comments.

Run you can, Simmie boy, but at least, don’t hide.

The Great Unease

Posted in Current Affairs, European History, Feminist Issues, History, India, language, Media, politics, Religion by Anuraag Sanghi on February 26, 2008
From the 1954 - 2010 - Indians are the most optimistic

From the 1954 - 2010 - Indians are the most optimistic. Cartoon by RK Laxman, Times of India.

The Great Unease

Global consumer optimism surveys routinely show anxiety, unease, dread in Europe and USA. This sense of unease should be absent considering the prosperity levels, the best health-care systems, a welfare state, guaranteed unemployment benefits, their technology, their currency and their democracy.

The Indians and Chinese routinely are more optimistic – which should not happen considering the low income levels. Fancy theory apart, to my mind, it is the ‘sword fatigue’ in response to constant exposure by Western Governments (to which they are exposed) which causes this low optimism.

Medieval – Renaissance Europe

16th century Europe – specifically, Spain and Portugal. The last of the Moors had been driven out of Spain. The Christian standard was flying high. The Papal Bull divided the Earth (for the Europeans) between Spain and Portugal. White Christian rulers of Spain, Isabella and Ferdinand, set historic standards in persecution and extortion. More than a million Jews were killed, crucified, burnt alive; their properties confiscated and distributed. Columbus returned to enslave the American Natives – and subsequently, work them to death.

New chapters in bloodshed were being written by conquistadors like Vasco Nunez De Balboa, Francisco Pizarro, Juan Ponce de Leon, Hernando de Soto, Hernando Cortez, et al. Not to forget the search for El Dorado led by, “above all, that prince of monsters Lope de Aquirre, colour the pages with the darkest hues of bloody emprise.” In South American memory, Francisco de Carvajal, the “demon of the Andes” remains alive. These real-life monsters set new standards in brutality, slavery and genocide.

Europe in the sixteenth century was “obsessed with questions of language, and especially so in Spain and its recently conquered American Empire“ (emphasis mine). This was driven by

what Marshal McLuhan called “the hypertrophy of the unconscious,” a phenomenon he associated with periods of revolution in media technology: the advent of print in the 16th century created a great need for sensational materials to be broadcast, and this need caused ideas that formerly had been only lurking in the dark recesses of men’s minds to come floating to the surface.

One of the great bestsellers of the 16th century was the Histoires prodigieuses of Pierre Boaistuau (Paris, 1560), a sort of Renaissance Ripley’s Believe-it-or-not containing marvelous tales on everything … Seventeen of the Histoires forty tales are about monsters, a fact that may explain why the book was republished anywhere from ten to twenty two times and translated into Dutch, Spanish and English. (from Popular culture in the Middle Ages By Josie P. Campbell).

Spanish literature of the Renaissance

From this hotbed of ferment, a representative of this period was Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681), the Spanish writer. Growing up in a Spain, a 100 years after the Conquistadors, benefiting from the twin advantages of fresh memory and hindsight - “a century of Janus, facing backward, towards the rise of the Spanish Empire … and forward, toward its decline.” His more than a 100 plays and writings represent significantly, 17th century Spain – and even Europe.

There is probably no word that is more characteristic of Calderon de la Barca’s art than monstruo, “monster.” Rare is the play in which the word does not appear several times … (from Celestina’s brood By Roberto González Echevarría).

Calderon’s play about Semiramis, the Assyrian Empire builder, showed her in a monster mode – her hybrid character the most masculine modes and the most feminine, a monster of destruction and creation”. And Calderon was not alone. The fertile growth of monsters gave birth to a new study – teratology, the study of monsters.

“Monster lore truly becomes “popular culture” only with the Renaissance … Fresh works on the subject of teratology are written by Italians, Germans, and Frenchmen. The foreruuner of the modern newspaper, the broadside were bought at street corners and at fairs by the barely literate masses. The great reformers Luther and Melanchthon used the broadside medium to popularize their propagandistic and anti-Catholic versions of two of the most famous monsters of the Renaissance, the Monk-calf of Freiburg and the Pope-ass of Rome. (from Popular culture in the Middle Ages By Josie P. Campbell).

Some of Calderon’s plays dealt with the proselytization of the Native Americans – like his play, La Aurora En Copacabana (Dawn in the Copacabana), described as a play about “the conquest and conversion of the Indians in Peru”

The success of the conquest, therefore, is attributed to (Christian) faith which is valued as mans greatest gift to the world … Thus (Christian) conquest becomes a form of colonisation with the purpose of imposing religion and culture on a land “que habitan inhumanos” (512) and is in need of redemption and education. Finally, the play tries to harmonise irreconcilable contradictions which lie at the bottom of colonial discourse. (texts in parentheses mine).

With this idea, must be seen something important. That is the important element of “the escape of the monster.” In the … Monster Theory, Joel Cohen has remarked that the monster always escapes. Now combine the three elements – the newly acquired colonies of America, the proselytization (or otheriwse, the genocide) and the escape of the monster. These were the ‘monsters’ of colonialism.

A very interesting play by Calderon was La vida es sueño (Life is a dream). It tells the story of Segismundo, the Prince Of Poland, who was destined to be a monster. To forestall the prophecy, Segismundo was imprisoned by his father from the time of his birth. In adulthood, released from prison to test the prediction, Segismundo fulfills the prophecy. As a analyst of Calderon’s work summarizes,

Affirming a “better reality,” Segismundo’s message speaks as well to all of Europe: the “new European man” is the real monster. (from The subject in question By C. Christopher Soufas).

200 years after Calderon, HG Wells, in the The Island of Doctor Moreau, foretold Joseph Menegle’s experiments rather well.

Onshore genocide – The Roma Gypsies

Apart from the Jewish persecution, less known is the the persecution of the Roma Gypsy, which continues till date. In Europe, kidnapping children was considered legal for most of 1500AD-1750AD. On one condition – you had to kidnap Roma Gypsy children! More than 25,000 children kidnapped. No problem. Everybody sleeps peacefully at night. Switzerland was doing this till 1973!

Roughly, between 1500 to 1750, it was legal in Europe to hunt human beings. Yes! Just like hunting for deer in India, or hunting buffalo in Africa or fox-hunting in Britain. Yes! You could hunt human beings. As long as the humans you hunted were Roma Gypsies. In Europe you could be hung to death if you committed the crime of being born – between 1500AD-1750AD! Born as a Roma Gypsy!

Europeans, in the their age of Enlightenment and Renaissance, (1500-1750) could just pick up human slaves – yes, own them like cattle and furniture, if you found one! As long as they were Roma Gypsies. Later you could also sell them for profit!

Ship owners and captains in Europe’s Golden age, (1500-1750) could arrange galley slaves for free. No wages, no salary. You just had to feed them. Use them, abuse them, flog them, kill them, drown them. You could do anything – as long as they were Roma Gypsies.

What set off the Roma Gypsy Genocide

In 1420, a 60 year old man, blind in one eye took charge – and took on the might of the Roman Church and Roman Emperors.

Jan Zizka.

Over the next 12 months, he became completely blind. In the next 15 years, Zizka (and other Czech generals) defeated, many times, the combined armies of Germany, The Roman Church and others. His military strategy was studied for the next 500 years. Thereafter, the myth of military might of the Church was broken forever.

Jan Zizka allied himself with the Taborites (the radical Hussite wing). Zizka made Tábor in Bohemia into an armored and mobile fortress – the Wagenburgs.

Interestingly, a 100 years after the Hussite Wars, the European persecution of the Roma Gypsies began in full earnest. And during WW2, the Vatican joined with the Nazi collaborators, the Ustashe,  to extort gold and the genocide against the Roma Gyspises.

Military success

Zizka ranks with the great military innovators of all time. Zizka’s army was made up of untrained peasants and burghers (townspeople). He did not have the time or resources to train these fighters in armament and tactics of the time. Instead they used weapons like iron-tipped pikes and flails, armored farm wagons, mounted with small, howitzer type cannons.

Roma Gypsy Wagon Caravan
Roma Gypsy Wagon Caravan

His armored wagons, led by the Taborites, in offensive movements, broke through the enemy lines, firing as they rolled, cutting superior forces into pieces. For defense, the wagons were arranged into a tight, impregnable barrier surrounding the foot soldiers – the Wagenburg (the wagon fort), as they came to be known. The wagons also served to transport his men. Zizka thus fully initiated modern tank warfare. Zizka’s experience under various commanders was useful. At the Battle of Tannenberg (1410), Zizka fought on the Polish side , in which the famed German Teutonic Knights were defeated.

Coming back …

Who were the major users of the wagons in Europe then (and now?) Answer – The Roma Gypsies.

Who were the people who could pose spiritual and ecclesiastical questions to the Vatican? Answer – The Gypsies, with their Indian heritage, were not not new to spiritual dialectics (contests, discourse and debates). For instance, Mani, and his adherents, an Indic teacher of Buddhist thought, known to Christians as Manichean thought, were the nightmare for Christianity till the 15th century. When Mani called for overthrow of slavery, the Vatican at the Council of Gangra, re-affirmed its faith in slavery. European minds were occupied with the questions raised by the Hussite reformers.

Some think they (the Waldensians) had held them for centuries; some think they had learned them recently from the Taborites. If scholars insist on this latter view, we are forced back on the further question: Where did the Taborites get their advanced opinions? If the Taborites taught the Waldenses, who taught the Taborites?

Who were the people who could help the persecuted Waldensians, the Bogomils, the Cathars to escape persecution and spread out across the Europe? Answer – The Roma Gypsies – in their wagons. The same Gypsies, had earlier pioneered the Troubadour culture in the Provence Region, which provoked the Albigensian Crusade by the Vatican.

Prokop Coat Of Arms
Prokop Coat Of Arms

And who was the King of the Taborites? Answer – An entire clan of leaders who called themselves as Prokop (The Shaven /Bald; The Little and The Great) were the military leaders of the Taborites.

The word and name Prokop have no meaning in any European language – except in Sanskrit, where it means vengeance, retribution, violent justice.

Mythology as History

Jan Hus initiated the Reformation in the Vatican Church. It was Jan Zizka who broke the back of Papal authority. On the back of these Czech successes, was laid the foundation of 95 Theses by Martin Luther in 1517. The British break (1533-34) with the Holy Roman Church happened due to favors by the Papal office to the Iberian Empires – in matters of trade and colonial expansion, and the impediments to divorce of Henry-VIII at the behest of the Spanish rulers.

Today, the Germans and the British are loath to be reminded about the Czech Church Reform initiatives and the defeats at the hands of the Poles and Czechs. Western historiography about the Enlightenment and Renaissance, in Britain, France and Germany, leading to the reformation is ‘mythology as history’.

Of course, the role of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Byzantine Empire in the entire Czech saga is also worth re-examining. Were the Hussite Wars, a proxy war waged by the Eastern Church against the Vatican?

Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr.Hyde

In the 19th century came the monster story was dubbed as Gothic – and this form of story-telling matured as a craft.

A significant array of Gothic writers emerged from Ireland (from Charles Maturin, Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, and Oscar Wilde to the contemporary writer Patrick McGrath), in a colonial situation where a Protestant minority was the colonial occupier. (from Late Victorian Gothic tales By Roger Luckhurst)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797–1851), wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley started writing Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, at the age of 18, and completed it one year later. First published in London, anonymously, in 1818 by small London publishing house of Harding, Mavor & Jones – after previous rejections by bigger publishers like Charles Ollier (Percy Bysshe Shelley’s publisher), and John Murray (by Byron’s publisher). The writer’s name started appearing from the second edition of 1823 onwards. The interesting aspect, lost in popular usge, is that the monster is not named – and Frankenstein was the scientist, who brought the monster to life.

In 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde was first published. This explored how ‘normal’ (Dr.Jekyll) human beings could become ‘evil’ (Mr.Hyde).

And in 1887, Bram Stoker, an Irish writer published his Dracula. The character of Dracula is based on Emperor Sigismund and his Order of the Dragon, who waged war against the Hussites – led by Jan Zizka. Infamous for his betrayal of Jan Hus, he sparked of the Hussite Wars, in which the Taborites (the Roma Gypsies) used wagons and gun powder for the first time in Europe. He founded a secret sect,  the “Dracul” called the Order of the Dragon.

Of course, these three are the most famous – but not the only ones. Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1871 “Carmilla“, about a lesbian vampire was another monster book of its time. An associate of Mary Shelley, John Polidori created the character of the “The Vampyre” in 1819 – on which possibly Dracula was based.

Most significantly, in 1896, was HG Well’s The Island of Doctor Moreau, which presaged Joseph Mengele – when Joseph Mengele had not even started on his higher education. A good 50 years before Joseph Mengele’s experiments were discovered by a shocked world.

The wellspring of these works is H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. In this 1896 novel, a vivisectionist attempts to transform animals into men until the misshapen creatures revert and kill him, the forces of nature overcoming man’s civilizing artifices. From The Boys From Brazil (Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele, alive and well and cloning Hitlers at a secret lab in the Brazilian Amazon) to Jurassic Park (Richard Attenborough alive and well and cloning velociraptors), Wells’ basic formula has become familiar: an island; a Frankensteinian experiment; a Faustian scientist; something gone terribly, terribly wrong. (from Requiem for the Mad Scientist By Arthur Allen, in Slate).

From the 1700-1800, while Spain was in decline, for about a 100 years, Western literary field did not see too much action on the monster front. The main action was in Haiti, where zombies, the ex-murderers, the living dead became a part of the voodoo cult.

The late Victorian era was one of the most expansive phases of the empire. Britain annexed some thirty-nine separate areas around the world between 1870-1900, in competition with newly aggressive America in the Pacific or the European powers in the so-called ‘Scramble for Africa’ after the continent was divided up at the Berlin conference of 1885. (from Late Victorian Gothic tales By Roger Luckhurst)

The last of the true great monster in popular culture came from the East. Soon after WW2, as tales of Japanese atrocities started coming out and as American atrocities in Vietnam started, Godzilla came out of Japan. But a different pressure head was building up, which gave rise to a new genre – detective fiction.

Euro-Pessimism

Between 1800-1950, Western powers killed (directly or otherwise) more than 50 million people in America (the Native Americans), Africa (the Native Africans and Afro-Americans), Asia (Indians, Chinese, Arabs). This led to a situation that every other person in the West had participated in murder or massacre. Western ambiguity towards Soviet Russia on one side, Hitler on the other – and to that add, Gandhiji’s resolute opposition to colonialism – and you have a inflammable situation.

The deluge of blood and murder caused moral anxiety and was a matter of ethical dilemma amongst common folks. The pressure valve for this was popular fiction. Identifying murderers became a form of proxy, vicarious entertainment for ordinary folks. Enter the super detectives, who pick out the murderer from a room full of ordinary people. Enter detectives like Auguste Dupin, of ‘The Purloined Letter‘ fame, who “investigates an apparently motiveless and unsolvable double murder in the Rue Morgue.”

The Controversial Tintin In CongoMurder in Popular Image

A trend started by Edgar Allan Poe, whose first detective novel, Murders In Rue Morgue (1841) soon became an avalanche. Writers like Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple solving murders happening by the second), Georges Simenon (and his Inspector Maigret investigating brutal crimes), Ngaio Marsh (Roderick Alleyn), GK Chesterton (Father Brown), Raymond Chandler (Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe) dealt with murder. Alfred Hitchcock made horror thrillers in similar themes.

Agatha Christie’s book filmed as Ten Little Indians, based on the book, initially released (the book) in Britain as Ten Little Niggers (later renamed as Then There None) gives the game away. Agatha Christie probably pre-saged the White desire to ensure that there should be none of the Native Americans left to tell the tale. The overt racism in Herge’s ‘Tintin in Congo’ made the world sit-up and note the pervasiveness of racism in detective fiction.

Jerome Delamater, Ruth Prigozy, in an essay compilation, ‘Theory and Practice of Classic Detective Fiction’, observe that Jane Marple, along with Hercule “Poirot becomes an equal opportunity detective who really believes that anyone might commit murder”. Dismissing the jaundiced view of human nature,” the writers of this book, while commenting about the detective fiction genre, do not mention slavery at all – and mention colonialism and racism once each.The History Of Mystery

The Mystery of the Dying Detective

After de-colonisation, as mass murder went underground, the detective-murder mystery books genre faded. This category was replaced by a new theme – the axis of corporation-government international conspiracies.

Conspiracy Theory – Full Steam Ahead

The new category of popular fiction are represented by Ian Fleming, Arthur Hailey, Frederick Forsyth, Irving Wallace, Robert Ludlum, Graham Greene, John Le Carre, et al. More and more contrived, each conspiracy theory writer has been ‘inspired’ by real life incidents.

While Ludlum’s international-conspiracy-plot-CIA-FBI-KGB series have worn thin, the spookiness of Le Carre’s Absolute Friends and Constant Gardner still work as novels representing the West.

Western Twins – Anxiety and Paranoia

To develop this understanding further, there are two classes of films that I wish to draw attention to.

Malignant Nature

Jaws (the shark that eats humans), Jurassic Park (mad scientists, conspiring technicians let loose man eating dinos) Gremlins and Poltergiest (things that go bump in the night). This paranoid fear of nature (and natural laws) seems to be a result of the subterranean knowledge of the way in which ecological damage and pollution is happening. These films produced /directed by Steven Spielberg (who is incomparable because as Time Magazine says, “No one else has put together a more popular body of work”)

Illegal AliensVindictive Humans

The other is the thinly disguised hate and prejudice films against the poor and the victimised. ‘Aliens’ needs just one small change for the films idea to become clear. Instead of LV-426, Nostromo the space ship, receives a distress call from some country in South America or Africa (or India, if you prefer). The meaning is clear when you see the movie while conscious of the fact that alien is is the word the US Government uses for people from other countries.

What Does This Mean

A US commentator Robert Putnam says that

“… We don’t trust each other as much as we used to. Trust in other people has fallen from 58 percent in 1960 to 35 percent in the mid-1990s. Our less trusting atmosphere has led us to recoil from civic life and social ties. We belong to fewer voluntary organizations, vote less often, volunteer less, and give a smaller share of our gross national product to charity (Putnam, 1995a, 1995b; Knack, 1992; 1986; Uslaner, 1993, 96-97). People who trust others are more likely to participate in almost all of these activities, so the decline in trust is strongly linked to the fall in civic engagement (Putnam, 1995a; Brehm and Rahn, 1997; Uslaner, 1997) …The Purloined Letter Drawing

Elephants in the room

Most critics and commentators write about the phenomenon of detective fiction devoid of context – and the detective fiction as entertainment only.

One writer, Franco Moretti did half the job in book Signs Taken for Wonders: On the Sociology of Literary Forms By Franco Moretti. He writes,

“The perfect crime – the nightmare of detective fiction – is the feature-less, deindividualized crime that anyone could have committed because at this point everyone is the same.” He further writes,“Yet, if we turn to Agatha Christie, the situation is reversed.Her hundred-odd books have only one message: the criminal can be anyone …”

Detective FictionIn his entire book he does not use the words like slavery, racism, genocide, bigotry even once. The 19th century, which was based on Western bigotry, White racism, Black slavery, and assorted genocides is unrecognised in Moretti’s books.

Running or hiding? Or it a case of feeling squeamish? Perhaps, a case of queasy stomach, Franco?

Another book, The Detective as Historian: History and Art in Historical Crime Fiction, by Ray Broadus Browne, Lawrence A. Kreiser does a better job. This book examines, the detective fiction genre, with some references to slavery and child prostitution.

How was this explained away

As the monsters increased, both in real life and literature, rationalizations were required. A person no less than Immanuel Kant, was pressed into service to deconstruct the ‘monster’, re-invent it and give it a positive spin.

The monster taken up by Kant in an aesthetic sense to refer to those things that exceed representation considers that the monstrous describes an entity whose life force is greater than the matter in which in which it is contained. Thus rather than something that malfunctions during the course of its production, monstrosity is associated during romanticism with “over-exuberant living matter” that extends itself beyond its natural borders in order to affect a much wider sphere. ((from The subject in question By C. Christopher Soufas).

Detective Fiction

In the twentieth century, Kant’s hypothesis finds an echo when Lord Randolph William Churchill, the ‘Bulldog’ declared

“I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race has come in and taken their place. (from Minorities, peoples, and self-determination By Nazila Ghanea-Hercock, Nazila Ghanea, Alexandra Xanthaki, Patrick Thornberry)

In another instance, Churchill wrote how ’superior’ Arabs, imposed on the ‘inferior’ negroes.

The stronger race imposed its customs and language on the negroes. The vigour of their blood sensibly altered the facial appearance … (from The River War By Winston Churchill).

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The Carving Of The Middle East

Posted in Current Affairs, History, Islamic Demonization, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on February 21, 2008

How Western interventions and misdirections have affected the Middle east over the last 100 years.

Balfour Declaration

Arthur James Balfour, Author of the Balfour Declaration

After WW1.

After the guns fell silent, sharp knives came out. Victorious allies of WW1, proceeded to carve up the Ottoman Empire, stretching from the Middle East to Central Asia to the Eastern Europe – the modern successor to the ancient Assyrian Empire.

In 1916, an expert on West Asia, believed that ‘dismemberment of Turkey is the goal which Europe has steadily aimed at’, for at least the previous 400 years.

“Just as Europe turns upon the dismemberment of Turkey, so the Eastern question in Asia turns upon the continued solidarity of Hindustan” By George Nathaniel Curzon Curzon (Marquis of) in Problems of the Far East: Japan–Korea–China; published in 1894.

TE Lawrence, a British spy, posing as archaeologists, determined the fate of millions in the Middle East. Another British spy, a team-mate of TE Lawrence, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell made the selection of the King Of Iraq.

Gertrude of Iraq

Gertrude Bell, with her dubious contribution, was another imperial figure, “the first woman officer in British military intelligence … Coming from the sixth-richest family in Britain, she was “dedicated (in her) opposition to the suffragettes and the extension of the vote to women

Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell

She also campaigned actively against female suffrage. Despite her own achievements, she accepted the prevailing Victorian view that women were not qualified to make decisions about affairs of state. And as a daughter of the establishment, she was offended by the militancy of the suffragist movement.

Why give the vote to more people? Especially, poor women. Gertrude of Iraq, messed with the Middle East, only to commit suicide in 1926, with an overdose of sleeping pills. Preceding the death of (TE) Lawrence of Arabia in 1935.

The Middle East campaign during WW1, against the Turks was ridden with conflicts. The Balfour Declaration, the side alliances with the local tribal chieftains and the claims by the Indian Colonial Government. The India Office supplied the critical Indian troops against the Ottoman Turks, in the hope that the Middle East territories would be attached to the Indian colonies.

The artificial and cynical policies of the British lived on after their departure.

Yet Bell and her superior as British high commissioner, Sir Percy Cox, laid down policies of state in Iraq that were taken up by Saddam’s Arab Ba’ath socialist party. Those policies were to retain, if necessary by violence, the Kurdish mountains as a buffer against Turkey and Russia; to promote Sunni Muslims and other minorities over the Shia majority; to repress the Shia clergy in Najaf, Kerbela and Kazimain, or expel them to Iran; to buy off the big landowners and tribal elders; to stage disreputable plebiscites; and to deploy air power as a form of political control. “Iraq can only be ruled by force,” a senior Ba’ath official told me in 1999. “Mesopotamia is not a civilised state,” Bell wrote to her father on December 18 1920.

TE Lawrence Of 'Arabia'

British policies were seen as guiding posts for the new client-states. To the extent of handling the Kurds. Much like how the British RAF bombed the Kurds, Saddam Hussien waged war against the Kurds. Gertrude Bell made time to

attend a display of the force being deployed by the RAF on the Kurds around Sulaimaniya: “It was even more remarkable than the one we saw last year at the Air Force show because it was much more real. They had made an imaginary village about a quarter of a mile from where we sat on the Diala dyke and the two first bombs dropped from 3,000ft, went straight into the middle of it and set it alight. It was wonderful and horrible. Then they dropped bombs all round it, as if to catch the fugitives and finally fire bombs which even in the brightest sunlight made flares of bright flame in the desert. They burn through metal and water won’t extinguish them. At the end the armoured cars went out to round up the fugitives with machine guns.”

The new dispensations

Out of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was carved up and King Faysal was put on the throne. This new King did not even know his kingdom – and he was taken around by his new makers.

Turkey decided to go West – with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk mandating all Turks must cut of their beards. Out of the fog of war, came the Russian Communists – which again the Anglo-Saxon world tried to blame the rest of the world for. During WW1, Britain made the Balfour Declaration, which promised a Jewish homeland, to be carved out of the Ottoman Empire – in Palestine. The Balfour Declaration put the entire Middle East on shaky political ground.

Exploitative commercial contracts favoring Anglo-Saxon bloc  of countries were signed with these puppet governments – and the rest of the story is being played out for the last 90 years. Western Empire builders of today bemoan the ‘mistakes’ of past leaders – without even considering the interests and rights of the rest of world.

27th May 1919 - Hotel Crillon, Paris, for the Versailles Treaty - Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau, Woodrow Wilson @ Versailles (note the body language)

27th May 1919 - Hotel Crillon, Paris, for the Versailles Treaty - Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemenceau, Woodrow Wilson @ Versailles (note the body language)

Western Leadership

Midway through WW1, by 1916, the heads of the Allied powers – Britain, France, Italy and Russia had changes of governments. Italy ran through three Prime Ministers during WW1. Each of new governments had different agendas and ideas about the Middle East.

Britain, under Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, could look at Middle East (and War itself) as only a dominant super power of the period could – as imperial fodder. Georges Clemenceau, the French Premier, was diffident about colonial expansion, pragmatically viewing French resources and capability, in overextended colonial territories and vulnerable to Germans at home.

In 1915, Italy joined the alliance. At the end of the War, Italy promptly staked its claim for the borderline Balkan areas of Dalmatia and Rijeka /Fiume. American economic interests demanded opening of markets, closed to America by colonial powers. Woodrow Wilson (couched as his personal ‘belief in self-determination’) wanted ‘independence’ for the Middle East – for the US corporations to manipulate the Middle East, which they promptly did.

The losers, Ottoman-Turkey, the Germans and  the Austro-Hungarian Empires lost their colonies to ‘self determination’ – and the winners kept their colonies. This ‘self determination’, Trotsky aptly described as “naked and most cynical imperialism.”

The unforeseen elements were the Russians. The Communist leaders pulled out of the war. Russia was replaced by their future Cold War rival, United States into the war, on the side of the Allies.

The only interest not represented was that of the Middle East itself.

Islamic Demonisation

Leaders of the Middle East

One example was Emir Hussein. He could make the British believe that Emir Hussein could raise a force of a quarter million Arabs. He could deliver 3000-4000. Shaikh Faisal was another. Muhammed Sharif al-Faruqi was the third.

Ataturk’s Turkey

Turkey – led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, reduced itself to ‘copycat’ attempt at Westernisation. After WW1, the victorious allied powers dismantled the Ottoman Empire. Turkey was reduced to a rump state.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was ‘installed’ by Western powers. Thereafter, Turkey has lurched from crisis to another. Post WW2, it has mostly been ruled by military dictatorships. From an arbiter in Europe, it has become a supplicant, begging for entry into EU. Instead of the queue in China – it was beards in Turkey. Atatürk enforced a new dress code on the hapless Turks – and the traditional fez was banned. Stop wearing the fez or else …

Demonisation Starts

After these destabilizing decisions, the Anglo-Saxon world has been put their propaganda machine to work overtime. Demonizing communism and now Islam. Without taking the responsibility for their own actions – and further interventions, creating further instability.

Like the demonization of the Jews before and the Red Indians after, this too is having disastrous effects – in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. And this process of demonization is a matter of concern to the rest of the world. Preparatory work has already started in the West on re-drawing these maps again – which will favor the West some more.

Iran Iraq Cartoon

Is India getting co-opted in this demonization?

Gandhiji – And The Middle East Carving

Gandhiji saw this problem 90 years ago – and his support of the Khilafat movement was prescient. Today when some Indians join in this demonization, it is matter of ignorance – and a threat.

Start Of World War I

What triggered WW1 is common knowledge. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. How did so many other countries get involved? The Russian Tsar (related to the British Royal House and based on the support of) Britain, the Anglo-Saxon Bloc and the French, supported political Serbian assassins, of Archduke Ferdinand of the Austro Hungarian Empire – and that started the World War I. Not some harmless gun shot that seemed to have triggered it off as victorious Anglo-Saxon historians would have us believe.

Were some Governments involved in this assassination?

Finally, paint the Iraqis for the mess!

Finally, paint the Iraqis for the mess!

The Assassination Team

The assassination plot included Gavrillio Princip, the actual 19-years old killer, Mehmed Mehmedbasic (a carpenter, unsure of his success, finally didn’t do anything), 17-year-old Vaso Cubrilovic, Nedelko Cabrinovic, all of 20 years old, Cvetko Popovic, an 18-year old student, 24-year old Danilo Ilic, the main organizer of the plot and Trifko Grabez, a 19-year old.

The name of the group was Black Hand, a circle of radicals in the army around Dimitrijevic-Apis, the man who led the murder of the Serbian royal couple in 1903. The other ring leader was Vojislav Tankosić organized the murders of Queen Draga’s brother’s; Dimitrijević Apis and Tankosić in 1913-1914 figure prominently in the plot to assassinate Franz Ferdinand.

What Would Happen Today

What would happen if a Pakistani based terrorist group were to kill Prince Harry? Would the US take no action if an (imagine Islamic) assassin were to shoot the US President-Elect.

And what would the US do if (say, the) Governments of Russian or China (or for that matter, India) were to support the assassins. Well! A Balkan assassin did kill the Crown Prince (equivalent to the US President-Elect).

The Russians, the Anglo-Saxon Bloc and the French supported the assassins.

French Colour Photos - WW1Alliances Of WW1

The 3 powers on the Axis side were:

One:

Austro-Hungarian Empire ruled by the Habsburgs (whose heir apparent was killed)

Two:

The Ottoman Empire (out of Turkey), which obviously could not support assassins of royalty.

Three:

Germany, ruled by the Kaiser Wilhelm.

Britain immediately started aggressive posturing against Turkey (the Ottomans). On July 29, 1914, Churchill, then Lord Of Admiralty, seized two Dreadnought ships being built for the Ottomans in British shipyards for the Turkish navy. The Germans needed allies and to woo the Ottomans, presented them with two ships. Britain, France and Russia declared war on Turkey on October 31, 1914.

By 1916, Britain, France and Russia had signed the secretive Sykes-Picot Pact – a framework for the division of the Ottoman Empire after the future defeat of the Turks. While the WW1 was going on, a civil war broke out in Russia. Kerensky, a member of the moderate Labor party, Lenin, Trotsky et al of the Bolshevik Party, overthrew the Tsar and assumed power in February 1917.

Another stereotype? Click for larger image.

Another stereotype? Click for larger image.

Till 1923, the Russian Civil War continued, to the defeat of Kerensky and his White Army in 1923. Kerensky wished to continue war alongside Britain and France.

Lenin broke ranks, and in October 1917, the Russian-Communists started negotiations for a peace treaty with Germany. In 1918 the Treaty Of Brest Litovsk followed. After the end of WW1, Britain and France did not honour Russia’s claim under the Sykes Picot Pact. Russians retaliated and were actively involved in the Middle East instability for the next 50 years, by playing of one Middle East country against another.

Supporting the assassins was the alliance of Russia, France, Britain, (and later) America, and sundry other European countries. With this act of brinkmanship, they took the world through the agony of a huge war, the price of which is being paid even today. The Middle East problems, the rise of Communism all came out of the World War I.

And continued later.

After WWII

Between the world wars, military leadership in the West passed from the hands of European powers to the USA. As the WWII progressed, questions about apportioning of Middle East oil occupied Western leadership. Sitting over a hand-drawn map, Theodore Roosevelt explained to Lord Halifax, the British envoy to the USA,

‘Persian oil is yours. We share the oil of Iraq and Kuwait. As for Saudi Arabian oil, its ours’

Soon after the WWII, on a New Year’s day, in 1946, Ernest Bevin, the foreign secretary in Clement Attlee’s government had a meeting with the British Defence Committee on the subject of Britain’s status in the Middle East. In its report, the committee reported Bevin’s position. Bevin felt, it was reported, that

Without the Middle East and its oil and other potential resources, he saw no hope of our being able to achieve the standard of life at which we were aiming in Great Britain.

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Slavery & Oppression – In The West and In India

Posted in Current Affairs, Feminist Issues, History, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on February 18, 2008

The Moral Offensive

In 1901, Dadabhai Naoroji published his famous research – “Poverty and Un-British rule in India”. Before that, his 1876 paper, “Poverty In India” traced the rise of poverty in India due to colonialism. This laid the background for India’s Independence and shaped the strategy of Swadesh and Satyagraha. Fifty years later we were a Republic of the kind the world had never seen.

But …

This moral offensive continued for the next hundred years – provoking Nixon’s reaction during the Bangladesh War. “The Indians put on their sanctimonious peace Gandhi-like, Christ-like attitude,” an angry Nixon observed. Nixon declared, to George Bush Sr., then the USA ambassador to the United Nations, (later the President) on December 8, 1971, “We can’t let these goddamn, sanctimonious Indians get away with this. They’ve pissed on us on Vietnam for five years.”

Harry & Kill – Lord Irwin’s Peace Pact

The use of reverse-propaganda (a European tool) by the Congress against the British was singularly successful – and put the Colonial administration on the moral defensive. The British Colonial administration worn out by the “harry and kill” moral offensive of the Congress made peace. The British Viceroy, Lord Irwin brought some semblance of propriety in colonial administration thereafter. Military war then became less important.

The British response to that was ‘divide et impera’divide and rule; like the Euro-colonial cousins, the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg rulers. In the dying years of the Raj, the colonial administration put up issue of ‘untouchability’ and caste ‘oppression’. Untouchability, the caste system, social prejudices remained significant issues in post colonial India – and it continues to be a much debated and a divisive issue. Harijans, Dalits, manuvadis are terms and names used freely.

How much of this is real? Bad luck. It is a hoisted petard, which will blow up on the those who raise this.

Oppression – And It’s Many Avatars

Legal support for slavery is a feature of the Western and Levantine societies. Trade of human beings in market place had the support of the state. In Europe and USA, laws and courts  slavery. In Indic legal systems, such a feature has not been seen for the last 3000 years. The last Indic system which had explicit slavery laws were the Hittites around 1000BC. To cover up this aspect, and to shore up their image as champions of human rights, Western powers have tried to fuzzy the definition of slavery through the ILO – a creation of the Western powers after WW1.

To get some understanding on the oppression issue, a comparative examination may give a better perspective.

 Indian Removal

Painting by Robert Lindneux (Woolaroc Museum)

Wipe out of the Red Indian Population in North America

In 1492, when Columbus landed in the West Indies, the native American population was 3 million (in the what is currently USA) and more than 10 million in the Americas – and they spoke a 600 languages.

300 years later, they had become tourist attractions. The entire Anglo-Saxon race was against the very existence of the native Red Indian.

The British and the independent Americans were equally brutal with the Red Indians. During the French and Indian Wars, Britain waged a biological warfare against the Red Indians by distributing small pox infected blankets to Red Indians. 70 years later, Andrew Jackson delayed (some say withheld) small pox medical supplies and vaccines from Red Indians.

During the American War of Independence, George Washington, on May 31, 1779 Washington sent his official Instructions to Major General John Sullivan:

Sir: The expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the six nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible…whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instruction to do it in the most effectual manner; that the country may not be merely overrun but destroyed

Reminiscent of George Bush threatening the world, either you are for us or against us , George Washington, made a similar remark more than 200 years ago. George Washington wrote to the President of the Continental Congress in 1776:

In my opinion it will be impossible to keep them [Indians] in a state of Neutrality, they must, and no doubt soon will take an active part either for, or against us…

Thomas Jefferson view of the native Red Indians was equally dismissive. He (King George III) has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions… (Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, 1776).

Treaty after treaty was made with Red Indians – which were broken time and again. The Whites coveted everything that the Red Indian had – but mostly, his life. This “land of the free” by all possible (and some impossible) means was soon made land free of the “natives and savages”.

The US President, Andrew Jackson started by (December 8, 1829) posing as a Red Indian sympathiser. He proclaimed

“By persuasion and force they (Red Indians) have been made to retire from river to river and from mountain to mountain, … tribes have become extinct … Surrounded by the whites … which by destroying the resources … doom him to weakness and decay … That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the states … Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity.” (parts excised for brevity and ellipsis inserted; bold letters mine).

His solution – remove the Red Indians.

In 1830, 40 years after George Washington became the President, the “land of the free”, a law was passed to make the land free of the native Cherokee (Red Indian) population. The vast prairie lands were expropriated – and the Cherokee Indians were marched out by the US army. This march, Trail Of Tears, signalled the break of treaty by White Anglo Saxons. Land West of the Mississippi were to belong to the Eastern Indians ‘in perpetuity.’

The Red Indians resisted removal and forcible transfers. Their resistance was brutally crushed. By December 4, 1832, Andrew Jackson was saying,

“After a harassing warfare, prolonged by the nature of the country and by the difficulty of procuring subsistence, the Indians were entirely defeated, and the disaffected band dispersed or destroyed. The result has been creditable to the troops engaged in the service. Severe as is the lesson to the Indians, it was rendered necessary by their unprovoked aggressions, and it is to be hoped that its impression will be permanent and salutary.” (bold letters mine)

Gen. Winfield Scott was sent in May 1938, (with an army) to deliver the ultimatum to the Cherokees. Move or we will make you. At your cost.

President Woodrow Wilson echoes the ideology behind the alleged “genocide” –

“The experience of Liberia and Haiti show that the African race are devoid of any capacity for political organisation… there is an inherent tendency to revert to savagery and to cast aside the shackles of civilisation which are irksome to their physical nature. Our industries have expanded to such a point that they will burst their jackets… Our domestic markets no longer suffice; we need foreign markets. In the matter of Chinese and Japanese coolie immigration, I stand for the national policy of exclusion… We cannot allow a homogeneous population of a people who do not blend with the Caucasian race.”

Just like Romani Gypsy and Australian aboriginal children were taken away from their parents, Red Indian children were also removed. In different continents, at different times, similar tactics were used by Europeans and the Anglo Saxons in the colonies.

Aborigines

In 1788, the estimated Aboriginal population was 7,50,000. By 1911, the survivors, were estimated at 31,000. Prior to the Anglo-Saxon settlement, “Australia was an ‘empty land’ because its inhabitants did not count as human“. Today, the Anglo-Saxon race prides itself for the building of Australia. Australia was a British colony and till date the Queen (or King) of Britain is the head of State for Australia.

Consider a one-time leader of the ‘free world’, the British Prime Minister during WW2, one time Chancellor Of The Exchequer, Winston Churchill, had his views on Arabs, Indians, Aborigines, Red Indians -

I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race has come in and taken their place.

Churchill similarly had highly enlightened views on Arabs. After all “the Arabs are a backwards people who eat nothing but Camel dung.” was Churchill’s stated stand.

One of the main causes of deaths was public health. In India, in the early 19th century, an estimated 25 million died due the cholera epidemic – as the colonial Government did not bother (to give them the benefit of any doubt). In Northern Ireland, during the Irish Famine, the then British Prime Minster with held supplies and essential aid from starving Irishmen. In USA, the Government delayed allocations to fight small pox, 20 years after similar actions for the Whites. Similarly from the Australian aborigines.

From 1860-1960

Little changed in 100 years after the American Civil War – except the matter of 25 million missing Blacks. At the start of the Civil War, the White Population of North and South was 22 million. And Blacks was 5 million. By 1960, the White population had grown by nearly 800%, to 160 million. The Black population in the meantime had grown by only 400% – from 5 million to 20 million.

What happened to the missing 400% of Black population growth? Apologists (and defenders) use white immigration to explain away some of the difference. But that further compounds the problem – because there was also about 1 million of Black immigration from Haiti, Jamaica, Africa and other countries.

Mortality amongst Blacks due to AIDS is higher than for Whites – 60,000 higher Black deaths every year. The New England Journal Of Medicine states,

Among patients infected with HIV, blacks were significantly less likely than whites to have received antiretroviral therapy or PCP prophylaxis when they were first referred to an HIV clinic“.

Nett, nett – about 20-25 million Blacks are missing. Due to deprivation, poor health care and indifference. The maths? US population today is 300 million. Black population was estimated 4-5 million and whites at 20-22 million at the start of the Civil war in 1860. By the 1860 ratios, there should be another 20 million to 25 million Blacks in the USA.

Woodrow Wilson Plugging Birth Of A Nation & KKKBut rights and equality is something else

From 1865 to 1965 Blacks though no longer bought and sold – were still excluded from the political and social systems – in the land of the free. The Freedman’s Bureau made the ‘free’ blacks into poor sharecroppers and destitute. The Ku Klux Klan became a vigilante group to ensure that Blacks stayed where they were – at the bottom of the economic, social and political ladder.

By 1890’s the disenfranchisement laws came into effect – which ensured that the disproportionate numbers of Blacks could not vote. Petty crime (where poor) where Blacks were convicted in higher ratios were grounds for disenfranchisement. These laws ensured that 10 times higher number of Blacks were disqualified compared to Whites. If that is not bad enough, it continues till now. After some 60,000 Black Voters were disenfranchised, George Bush, technically, won by less than 1000 votes (most were expected to vote against George Bush). Such tactics continue to be used to limit Black participation in democracy.

Martin Luther King in the Birmingham Alabama Jail April, 1963

The re-emergence of the Ku Klux Klan in its second avatar continued with its agenda of Black subjugation till the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. The second coming was a mainstream event with President Woodrow Wilson endorsing the film and the message.

Black Emancipation

Black emancipation in the USA is a 1970s phenomenon, 30+ years ago event – and not 200 years ago as this article in New York Times seems to make out.

It took non-violent protests (Martin Luther King, inspired by Gandhiji) and violent threats (Malcolm X) for ‘emancipation’ and equity to come in. In the Cold War scenario, under international media glare, during the Little Rock School stand-off, Eisenhower (a Southerner himself) reacted.

Al Haj Malik Shabazz aka Malcolm XReluctantly,in 1954, he sent in the National Guard to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce de-segregation. The Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas closed down the school rather than de-segregate. The eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation during the Kennedy years produced the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Demonise, Genocide and Apologise

Now that there are only a few Red Indians and aborigines left – they serve as tourist attractions. The ritual of regret and apology about their role in the genocidal past. Since, the “Jewish Problem” was solved by Hitler (there are hardly 1 million Jews left in Europe and 5 million in USA), the West and USA has no problems, anymore with the Jews. Australia, Canada and France have tendered their ritualistic apologies – and start demonizing someone else.

In fact, Jews today serve a useful purpose to the West. After the Anglo-Saxon led alliance broke up the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East (post WW1), the Israelis were introduced into the Middle East after WW2 as the Western cat’s paw. They have been suborned to the job of keeping a lid on the simmering oil rich, Middle East, and keeping it in check.

What is the real cost to the USA – an inflated arms bill. They make up the cost of supplying free arms to Israel by selling the same arms to the oil rich sheikhs. What does it cost Israel to serve as the ‘America’s terrible swift sword in the desert’ – millions of precious Jewish lives, lost in the fight to keep the Anglo Saxons in luxury.

Western demonisation of Islam has replaced the Jewish demonisation (Shakespeare joined in with his anti-Semitic Merchant Of Venice). Without taking responsibility for the destabilisation of the Islamic World by the liquidation of the Ottoman Empire after WW1 – perpetrated by Anglo-Saxon countries and the French.

The Greatest Suffering

The Blacks in the USA and Europe have seen some justice – as they were an important constituency in the Cold War. USA propaganda was on the verge of losing Africa to Soviet Russia. The Jews have been very persistent and they have not let the world forget – or the perpetrators rest in peace.

The forgotten lot is that that of the Romani Gypsies. This one segment based in Europe and USA continues to remain on the fringes and discriminated. They have been hunted (like forest animals), their children kidnapped (to end their race and social system), they have been gassed (by Hitler along with the Jews), they have been galley slaves, In fact there was a time when they could be killed, if found alive!

The History Of King Leopold-II & Congo

“Dr.Livingstone, I presume!” and that is how Henry Stanley made his name and the life of Congolese miserable. Based on this incident, he was given a contract by King Leopold-II to establish “trading posts along the Congo River”. In time, like with other colonial possessions, with a mix of fraud, guile, deceit, force, massacre and other such ‘civilised’ norms by ‘Christian’ civilisers, Congo was also made into a colony. By King Leopold-II of Belgium, in his personal capacity.

King Leopold King Leopold (current king’s predecessor 3 times away) was murderer. Plain and simple.

What happened was that in 1871, King Leopold decided that he needed to get respect. So he called for the Brussels Conference. His colleague, Otto Von Bismarck, of Germany got into the act and called for the Berlin conference. Plans were hatched and agreements signed.

Based on Dr.Livingstone’s propaganda, it was decided there that Europe will directly enslave the Africans - instead of the the Arabs. At that time 90%of Africa was free. In the next 20 years, 90% of Africa was colonialised.

King Leopold’s personally owned the Belgian Congo territory. His personal army-men and his personal agents killed more than 1 crore people. When hardly any Congolese were left, he sold Belgian Congo to his own country for GBP3.8 million. Congo was a major producer of rubber – and the King’s agents kidnapped African families – and released them against collections of natural rubber from African forests.

To understand oppression better, we also need to look at the genesis of the various religions across the world.

The Desert Religions

Judaism, Christianity, Islam were all born within 500 miles of each other and share a common culture and history. Judaism can be said to have been born when Moses led the Hebrew slaves from the Pharoah (across the Red Sea) to freedom. This possibly happened around 500 BC at the latest to 1500 BC at the earliest. His earliest followers were the Hebrews and they were a significant part of the Middle Eastern history all through till today.

The next major religious reformer in the Middle East was Jesus Christ. For the first 300 years, Roman slaves were the major believers in his teachings. Emperor Constantine earned the loyalty of his Christian troops and won the war for Roman throne by his win over Maxentius at Milvan Bridge. Prior to Maxentius, for the previous 30-40 years, Christians had been persecuted by “rule of four’ Tetrarchy reformists in Rome, headed by Diocletan. Hence, the Christian slave soldiers of Constantine were eager for victory – as the persecution under Maxentius would have been worse.

Liberated slaves were the founders and rulers of Islamic dynasties, (in India, the Slave dynasty – builders of Qutub minar). Thus all the three “desert religions” were first adopted by the slaves and only after gaining significant numbers of adherents, these religions became mainstream and commenced aggressive proselytising and conversions.

What’s Going On Here

‘Caste systems’ (by different names) are prevalent all over the world, in all societies, based on colour, race, income, wealth, education, social status, political position, et al. Most such ‘caste systems’ have no force of the state behind it or are legal. They are the burakumin in Japan today and the Blacks in Europe and USA. The most ‘respected’ caste system is the British nobility which exists even today – a caste system, approved by law. In India, colonial administration encouraged and increased divisions within society. Through propaganda efforts of the ILO, the Indian caste system, is now being equated with slavery.

Slavery (capture, kidnap, sequestration, transport, trade and transfer, re-capture of human beings) continued in the “desert bloc” till the 20th century. In the Indic territories, it was an inherited institution – and last seen in the Hittite rule around 1000BC. Faced with West Asian reluctance to give up slavery, Indo-Aryan rulers disengaged politically from West Asia and Middle East from around 1000 BC. Possibly, the slave revolt of Egypt by Moses itself was a result of the liberalising laws of the Hittites. Hence the fade out of the Indic rule from the Middle East – but the continuation of Buddhist influences, trade and peoples contact.

Reformers In India

After the slave revolts in the Middle East, India was witness to major renewal movements. More than a 100 Bodhisattvas and 24 Jain Tirthankaras were major figures in India’s renewal after the slave revolts in the Middle East. Modern history, influenced by Western historiography, recognizes only the “ahimsa twins” – Gautama Buddha and Vardhamana Mahavira.The “ahimsa twins” – Gautama Buddha and Vardhamana Mahavira were both princes of royal blood – Prince Siddharth and Prince Mahavira.

Their first adherents were the rulers and their methods of proselytising was also aimed at the ruling class. Ashoka The Great sent missions with his daughter Sanghamitra to Sri Lanka – where Buddhism was established.

Guru Nanak Dev came from the upper caste family and his focus was to end feuding on the basis of caste and creed. His first converts were from upper class families cutting across religions – and hence the opposition from some of the Mughal Kings.

Gandhiji was from the upper caste and the first item on his reform agenda was end to the “bhangis” carrying fecal refuse on their heads. His initial focus was social reform and less of anti-British activities.

Half the world today follows Indic religions and culture. The other half follows the “desert religions”. The development trajectories of these two halves has been significantly different. The motivations, behavioural and acceptable civilisational norms for these blocs are different – and mostly opposite.

Same difference?

Based on the above most notorious cases of oppression, there are some clear markers for to ‘real oppression’.

Declining Populations

In all the cases above, Jews in Europe, Black population in the Africa and USA, the Gypsies across USA and Europe, the aborigines in Australia, The Red Indians in America, or the Belgian Congo, the ‘marker’ for oppression was the decline in population. And we are not talking about a few percentage points here and there (which can be explained by many factors) but by multiples.

State Oppression versus Social Discrimination

In all these cases, these genocides were legalised – in USA with the Dredd Scott case. In Europe, anti-Gypsy laws existed till 1973 in Switzerland and other countries. The Red Indians and Aborigines were dispossessed in connivance with the State and enabling legislation. There were laws in Europe and Australia which allowed people to kidnap children of the oppressed and take them away from their parents.

Economic Rationale

All these cases of oppression are marked by a clear economic motive. Cotton plantations in the USA needed black slaves,West needed natural rubber from Congo, Red Indian land Vilfredo Paretowas needed by the West, Gypsy and Aboriginal children were kidnapped by declining European and Australian populations. Europeans historically envied Jewish business success.

How much of the division of labour in Indian society was coercive, extractive or enforced – and how much is explained by Pareto’s Law of Social Disequilibrium?

Majority Oppression Or Military Might

In all these cases, the majority oppressed the minority – or massacred them till the oppressed became a minority. Military might was used for oppressive purposes – like King Leopold-II in Congo, till such time, the oppressed became numerically weak.

Does this hold true for India?

What about Harijan massacres incidents. Two aspects – these massacres are not approved or condoned by law. Massacres and death of Red Indians, Aborigines, Jews, Gypsies were approved by law (yes, that is right! Click on links and other posts to get more info on that). There are equally massacres by the ‘oppressed’ in UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, J&K, MP – which shows a failure of the ‘over-burdened’ State and not oppression.

The Oppressed Make The Laws In India

At the time of Indian Independence, the ‘oppressors’ (the ‘ruling’ Brahmin Hindus) gave the role of Constitution writing to the leader of the ‘oppressed‘ – Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. No ‘oppressed’ class has been ‘given’ such a position and responsibility in any country of the world – ever. No ‘oppressor’ lets the ‘oppressed’ write the laws.

And for the record, let me state, BR Ambedkar was NOT given that position – he earned it.

The Oppressed Population Grows Faster than the Oppressors

The population of the ‘oppressed’ is growing at a faster rate than the ‘oppressors’. Thus the ‘oppression’ of the majority in India is resulting in a faster growth for the oppressed. A first in the history of oppression.

Reservations Of Opportunities

The US affirmative action (a dilution of the Indian reservation system) was a persuasive system – whereas India is the only country where the ‘minority’ oppressors are supporting an enforced, legally mandated system of reservations for the ‘oppressed’ majority. The whole world is fighting to steal, rob, snatch, kill and maim for opportunities – but in India the ‘oppressors’ are giving away opportunities.

Caste System & Slavery

‘Caste systems’ (by different names) are prevalent all over the world, in all societies, based on colour, race, income, wealth, education, social status, political position, et al. Most such ‘caste systems’ have no force of the state behind it or are legal. They are the burakumin in Japan today and the Blacks in Europe and USA. The most ‘respected’ caste system is the British nobility – which is a caste system, approved by law.

Slavery was different – and a distinctive feature, promoted (largely) by the Western and Middle Eastern powers. It had state sanction, state protection, laws passed by the kings, emirs, emperors, parliaments and legislating authorities. The US Supreme Court (Dredd Scott Case) even prohibited slaves from approaching courts for any redress. There was an organised, legal, sponsored industry involved in the kidnap, sequestration, transport, trade and transfer (and might I add re-capture) of slaves – with the might of the state behind it.

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India – The Second History

Posted in Current Affairs, Gold Reserves, History, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on February 16, 2008

For most Western historians (and also Indians), only the Core North India, is Indian history, society and culture. This is the history which British propagated and showed India as a defeated civilisation. Invaded, pillaged and dominated. Inferior and poor. Technologically backward. This is the history that is taught in schools and exists in popular imagery.

Despite its many fallacies, this view is being perpetuated by propaganda interests of the Anglo-Saxon bloc and the (various versions of) Congress party which has been the ruling party for the most of post-colonial India.

Along the Dakshinapatha दक्षिणपथ

There is another part to that history – which today influences and touches half the world. This history is full of wealth, military successes and a spread which taken India deeper than any other civilisation in the world. While the previous history was along the उत्तरपथ uttarapath, this story lies along the दक्षिणपथ dakshinapatha.

Its starts at Kerala, a highway across Nagpur Jhansi, Gwalior, Delhi ,Kashmir and ends in modern Iran. This history and geography is loosely dominated by the Dravidian segment of India.

Colonial historians (from India and the West) dismissed Dravidian history as subordinate and lesser than Aryan on the basis of the Aryan Invasion Theory. Now that the Aryan Invasion /Migration Theory does not have a leg to stand on, the contribution by the Dravidians along the dakshinapatha दक्षिणपथ becomes more important.

Where It All Started

The oldest Indian language, not based on Sanskrit, is Tamil. There is 3000 year old history that Tamil language has, which makes it one the oldest, living language. Related languages are in use even today in Pakistan, where the Brahui tribe speaks a related version of the Tamil language. The Brahuis have marriage preferences which are similar to South Indians (cousins preferred in marriage) – rather than North Indians.

How did Tamil land up in Baluchistan? And thereby hangs a tale.

Elamite Bas Relief CarvingThe Elamites

The people of Elam (yes in Tamil, Eelam means homeland), were the first to civilise the Iranian Peninsula in the 2700 BC period. They were contemporaries of the Egyptians, the Mittanis and the Hittites. The Elamites were a significant people till the 800BC in Persia (modern day Iran).

The Elamites concluded a major treaty with the Akkadian King King Naram-sin (Naram to Narain and Sin is the moon goddess, Chandra; possibly Narayan Chandra). Akkadian language is itself implicated in being in cahoots with Sanskrit and Indus Valley languages – and the creation ans spread of most modern languages except Sino languages.

Elamite Goddess FigurineThe Elamites, Mittanis and Hittites ruled an area stretching from Iran to Iraq up to modern Turkey. Numerous kings have Indian names – like Shutruk (Shatrughna), Shushinak (Sheshnag – the eternal serpent on whom Vishnu rests) Siwe /Sive (Shiva-pal seems to be his name - Dravidians have a significant Shaivite following even today).

One of the most prominent rulers of Babylon was Nebuchadnezzar (as spelt in English). Replace ‘b’ with ‘d’ and you are very close the Tamil name of Neduncheziyan (Nedunchedianuru) – a current and modern Tamil name. Interestingly, Neduncheziyan is more famous as the fabled erring Pandyan King in the Tamil classic – Silappadhikaaram. Neduncheziyan mistaken justice, brings him grief and finally death. Neduncheziyan is overshadowed by the other King, Cheran Senguttuvan’s fame in the Tamil classic, written by Jain Saint, Elangovadigal.

The goddess figurine seems to show parallel preferences between Elamite concept of female beauty and today’s Kodambakkam.

Ophir

This was a famous city from which ancient Egypt, Babylon, Sumeria and other Middle East countries imported gold, sandalwood, ivory, gems, (wild animals and birds(peacocks, monkeys). This now seems to be a corruption of the Tamil kingdom of Oviyar. Oviyar were one of the ruling tribes of South India and Sri Lanka. Ophir (as the Greeks called it and the West knows it) was a kingdom in South India and Lanka - a legend in its own time. Ships sailed from Sopara (modern Nallasoppara) and Lothal.

The Satavahanas

Immediately after the decline of Mauryan power in the Deccan, rose the Satavahanas. Based in the Godavari and Krishna river region, their origin isAmravati Stupa Sculpture is disputed between being Andhras or Marathas. Many of Sakas and Yavanas were taken onto Satavahana administration. Indianised Sakas and Yavanas, (Dharmadeva, Agnivarma or Rishabhadatta) from the Central Asia-Iran-Afghan region, were tribes and peoples conquered by Alexander and subsequently available as mercenaries. The spread of Buddhism gained strength during this reign – which we will see became a significant feature of Dravidian spread. The Amravati stupa, was built during this period.

Satakarni I (C. 180-170 B.C) was one of the early Satavahana rulers. He expanded to western Malwa (a Sungas territory) and clashed with the powerful Kalinga ruler Kharavela. He performed performing Aswamedhas thus announcing his suzerainty – desides celebrating a Rajasuya. His queen was a Marathi princess Naganika and a Naneghat inscription describes him as ” Lord of Dakshinapatha, wielder of the unchecked wheel of Sovereignty”.

Hala (C. 19-24 A.D) the seventeenth Satavahana ruler compiled Saptasati in Prakrit, married a Sri Lankan princess, (described in Prakrit work) Lilavati. Gautamiputra Shri Yagna Satakarni (C. 78-102 A.D.), in an inscription at Nasik, took pride in calling himself `Destroyer of Shaka(Scythians), Yavana (Greeks) and Pahalava’ – Pahalava referring to the Pahlavi dynasty of Parthian area of Iran. More than 13000 coins were found from his reign – now famous as the Jogalthembi hoard.

The Chalukyas – 5th Century to 12th Century

Vijnaneshwara who accomplished renown by inscribing Mitakshara- a book on Hindu law in the court of Chalukya Vikramaditya VI. Somesvara III was a magnificent intellectual and king who amassed an encyclopedia of all arts and sciences called Manasollasa.

The Maritime Saga

So, these Indians from South were involved in Middle East administration and were a major maritime power till the 17th century. Indonesia, Philipines, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia were at various times ruled by these Dravidian rulers.

The world’s largest religious complex is the Hindu temple of Angkor Vat – in Cambodia.

Simultaneously, trade introduced Islam and Christianity into India in Kerala, Bengal and Kashmir – before any invasions. The demographic change in Indian religious due to invasions was magnified by colonial historians to create animosity.

More coming up in the next 1 week.

As can be seen, North and South Indians were different language and practices but saw themselves as apart of Bharatvarsha – i.e India. Unlike what European historians would like us to believe. Lot of the material is available as links in this post also.

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