America, the new colonial power
We live in a deeply unequal world, where some people have far more of everything â€” money, status, opportunities, importance, recognition â€” than others. Their stories are heard more seriously, and more widely. We all know this to be true from our daily lives. For example, if a beggar is raped or murdered, it is not news.
If a middle class person is raped or murdered, it is big news. If a rich and famous person is raped or murdered, it would be world headlines. The inequality in value of people and their lives is something we all accept quite automatically.
The inequities are not merely between individuals, but also between groups. Thus, in India, because of historical factors, we find people of certain castes to be better or worse off than others. Tribals and Dalits in general still languish as groups, though there are large differences in conditions within these groups. The Sachar Committee had found that Muslims as a religious group are also worse off than caste Hindus.
The situation is a complex one. It becomes even more complex when you look at it in the larger, global context.
Around the world, one type of person is far more likely to be rich, healthy and important than any other: the white man from Western Europe or North America. He is followed by the white woman from the same places.
This is because a few tiny countries from that corner of the world had in the past been able to colonise the world. The British ruled us for centuries. The French, Portuguese and Dutch were their competitors, at least for a while. At an earlier time, it had been the Spanish.
In North America and Australia, the white settlers were successful in ethnically cleansing out native tribal populations. They were also able to enslave nearly the whole continent of Africa and use the Africans as slave labour. Indians fared marginally better and were shipped to plantations in Malaysia, Mauritius and the West Indies as indentured labour.
Colonialism in its old garb ended after World War II. It didnâ€™t end because the colonial powers suddenly and spontaneously underwent changes of heart. It happened because they were exhausted from the war and no longer had the capacity to hold on to their colonies.
It seems that was just a temporary break. The baton of imperialism has now passed to the United States of America.
When the twin towers fell on 9/11, the whole world was shocked. Then the tapes of Osama bin Laden aired and it became clear who was behind it. Bin Laden was in Afghanistan, so the US launched an attack. Then, inexplicably, they diverted their army and air force to Iraq even though Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban were allowed to get away. You can Google â€śAirlift of Evilâ€ť for more about this.
Anyway, the US attacked Iraq claiming it had â€śweapons of mass destructionâ€ť. None were ever found. It was a lie.
Now they are talking about attacking Syria for using chemical weapons though there is no clear evidence the Syrian government did it. The Syrian government denies it. Itâ€™s the word of the Americans against the Syrians.
A member of the United Nations inspection team to Syria, Carla del Ponte, said on record in a TV interview in May that it seemed the rebels were using chemical weapons. That same month, Sarin gas was found with 12 Al Qaeda men caught near Turkeyâ€™s border with Syria.
Whatâ€™s going on there?
Well, Syria is next to Iraq, one of the biggest producers of oil in the world. The Kirkuk oil field is to be taken over by British Petroleum this month and they will need to get that oil out safely. Thereâ€™s also the matter of further securing Israel, against which Syria has fought a war in the past. Lastly, it helps to turn Turkeyâ€™s face away from West to East. The West doesnâ€™t want Turkey in the European Union; they want Turkey to go back to being an Asian power.
Getting Turkey into a fight with Syria helps. Colonial powers have always done well out of â€śdivide and ruleâ€ť.
As for that whole moralistic nonsense about saving Syrian civiliansâ€¦well, why are they not shedding tears about the 1.25 lakh Iraqi civilians whose blood is on their hands?
America is the only country in the world to have used weapons of mass destruction, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the closing stages of World War II. Germany and Italy had already surrendered by then and there was no need to use those weapons.
America is the country that has used the most chemical weapons against civilian populations, in Vietnam, for years.
Their pretenses of morality are shameful hypocrisy.
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