may be assumed that Iraqis are acutely aware of the classical
folklore about the proverbial camel and the Arab. The lore has
it that a camel seeking refuge from the harsh elements in the
desert solicited some space from the cameleer who was happily
ensconced in the tent, just enough space to accommodate
the camel’s head. The Arab in his infinite and renowned generosity,
agreed. Then came the camel’s next request, to move only
his forelimbs to further protect them from the inclement weather
outside. Finally the camel thrust his entire torso into the tent,
displacing the Arab who found himself in an unlikely reversal
of roles – of landlord turned prospective tenant, left pleading
with the new occupant for refuge in the cameleer’s own tent.
Now physically, a camel handler is no match for a determined camel.
Raw strength is the determinant here, no matter how charming the
pleas for sanctuary that initially let the camel sneak in. The
camel invaded, occupied and dictated terms. The original resident
was dispossessed, weakened and left with few choices beyond those
presented by the occupier – for the time being.
is that racist tactics have much in common with dromedary strategies.
You are either with them or against them, no matter what – either
inside or outside the tent, all in black and white. In the end,
racist stratagems attempt to see to it that the tent becomes wholly
appropriated and, if any negotiations are to ensue, they shall
proceed on the occupier’s terms, case closed. The core subject
matter – appropriating tents – is shrewdly kept outside the sphere
of public discourse. Instead, we hear eloquent theses on the virtues
of private property – rationales concocted to protect the booty
and consolidate the dispossession. The camel becomes both landlord
and moral arbiter, even as it acts outside the parameters of human
norms and values.
the brief victory of brawn over brains, the camel lacks an understanding
of human resilience and the depth of commitment to the justice
of human causes, in all their diversity – the world that lives
in the Arab’s tent. It matters little that the camel insists
on the noblest of intentions in justifying the occupation. In
the end, camels are incapable of perceptions that challenge or
exceed their dromedary confines. They are too intoxicated with
raw power to be inconvenienced by human reasoning.
camels have no business living in tents, all such tales must end
with the camel back in the sand, where he belongs. The cameleer
will find a way to reclaim his domain. That’s the human order
imperial monologue, all human problems that collectively define
diversity as integral to the human condition are perceived as
bereft of historical and cultural roots and must be subsumed by
racist fabrications of human aspirations. All cultures, regardless
of their own rich heritages, are subordinated to racist whims
of the moment via instant analyses and coercive reinvention. Dedicated
scholars bearing grave countenances are tirelessly standing by
to expound on subjects they know little to nothing about. Their
voices add to the boisterous choruses of media and official lies.
A final and deeply familiar message emerges: it is our way or
the highway. And a lesson is supposed to be gathered from all
this by those untutored in the White man’s noble ways – democracy
by coercion and brute force. En route, a characteristic distortion
and mutilation of history and facts is undertaken, blurring distinctions
between fantasy and reality. Even the solemn proclamations of
yesterday can be subjected to absolute reversal today and the
new versions accorded the weight of veritable truths. The racist
attempts to project a divine omnipotence, although one-dimensional
in scope. Brute and naked power lends wayward ignorance the face
of knowledge and wisdom with a supporting cast of a gullible public
cheerfully abetting and succumbing to history’s truly monumental
and recurring frauds – those of racism and imperial grandeur.
Hence, not unlike the single-minded camel, a racist failure to
see people’s aspirations in human as opposed to racist
terms has been the persistent theme of racism, of which imperialism
remains its outstanding metaphor.
end of whose history?
array of colonizing strategies has been articulated to explain
away subjugation of the non-white world. We are told of the uniqueness
of the colonial history of India, as distinct from that of Africa;
that the French and the Portuguese versions differed from that
of the British; and that the invasion of Australia was of a dissimilar
category. Canadians are seen as a gentler species of conquerors.
Narratives of dispossession and killing of the ative peoples of
the Americas are projected in ways that romanticize genocide.
Heroes emerge from among the cold-blooded killers, songs are composed
in their praise to fabulate a history that is deployed as a weapon
to terminate and bury all other histories. Even if the beginnings
of history should, coincidentally, be
ascribed to others, its conclusion will remain categorically White.
So that in proclaiming the “end of history,” it conveniently escaped
Professor Francis Fukuyama’s astute mind that in fact the end
of history equates with racist appropriation of the final word
via crude power and intimidation, denying the other his or her
own testimony on their own reality and destiny.
of racist strategies is patently manifest in the current illegal
occupation of Iraq. We hear ludicrous explications of armed Iraqi
resistance sprinkled with laughable phrases such as “the Sunni
triangle” (implying that the Shias love being occupied and will
have none of the oil), Saddam loyalists, foreign interference,
etc. However, this is unlikely to veer anyone away from the one
stubborn fact about the Iraq war: it remains a racist criminal
invasion totally heedless of civilized world opinion.
demented logic, President Bush – the unsolicited foreign invader
– rails against “foreign” interference and “terrorist” attacks
on US occupiers. Having packaged this act of thuggery as “liberation,”
this administration is on the verge of discovering that the idiotic
ideology of White Supremacy and global hegemony will not wash
with Iraqis, for whom the real war of liberation has only
just begun. This is the paramount reality, no matter how the
issue is presented for nightly entertainment in American homes.
lies were spun and racist versions of “democracy” promulgated
to justify the US aggression in Vietnam, costing the lives of
2 million Vietnamese. The criminals of that war run scot-free
in our midst, while the maimed and chemically poisoned Vietnamese
survivors present grizzly testimony to racism’s global rampage.
As if to proclaim the end of law among humans, the US exempts
itself from the norms of civilized practice and international
jurisdiction for war crimes, coercing other countries to endorse
outrageous claims of American exceptionalism. The only sensible
conclusion that can be drawn from this deadly series of con games
is that the racist super power is in no mood to abandon its campaign
of hate and sadism on people of color.
Africa, racist dispossession was called apartheid, its White practitioners
regaled by US administrations as natural democrats, while their
African victims were marked as “terrorists.” Americans of African
descent, having been subjected to descending categories of dehumanization
and still struggling
for an equitable share of the American dream, remain consigned
to an embarrassing footnote to this country’s history. George
Bush daily attempts to confer glamour on the various White imperial
ventures aimed at denying the Other his humanity. Yet, atop such
aggressions of Himalayan proportions, US opinion molders seek
to drape a plastic covering of nonsensical “diversity.”
it is bigotry that lay at the heart of the imagined glory and
majesty of a past constructed on the backs of colored folks. True
diversity in fact lay in the pre-colonial histories and cultures
of the colonized. But that was soon to be transformed into a common
purpose by the colonized in urgently ridding themselves of the
racist pestilence that had permeated their social fabric. Iraq
is no exception.
too had a generous dose of racist “liberation” and its peoples
are still licking their wounds, many years later. Yet the American
version of reality turns truth on its head, treating the world
to the illogical and racist notion of a deeply traumatized
America as a result of that unjust war, rather than the actuality
of a horribly wounded Vietnam.
is made in the US of the 2 million Vietnamese victims of wanton
aggression. Instead, the culprits continue to indulge themselves
in their insatiable appetite for the blood and resources of other
defenseless societies. The US public is infatuated and held spellbound
by the high tech nature of its government’s aggressive exploits.
They like the “show” – a fabrication obscuring the death and destruction
visited on civilians, distorting distinctions between sci-fi and
reality – and cheer the actors and their props with an unashamed
glee that is only possible among dedicated racists. The suffering
and pain of the victims of aggression are digitally deleted from
the consciousness of an already numbed prime time audience.
yet another metaphor for imperial whims, as dangerous and as deadly
as they come. An important part of the racist colonizing spirit
is to create and propagate a new, self-serving language and impose
it on the colonized. With the adoption of a new language utterly
disconnected from reality, it is hoped that resistance to racist
imperial machinations will weaken and crumble. Yet history does
not bear this out. Indeed, the human saga tells us that quite
opposite results can be expected: resistance and wars of liberation.
No amount of linguistic and semantic contortions can mask the
grotesque racism that has distinguished these centuries-old imperial
yet another permutation of the tale of the camel once again underestimating
human buoyancy and desire to assert their own version of freedom
– a natural and inalienable right, requiring no help from racist
do-gooders who would “guide” other people’s paths to freedom.
Before the sandstorm is over, the camel will be ejected from the
President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair entertained
the US Congress with language that was utterly warped, substituting
liberation for criminal aggression, coercion for democracy, to
the acclaim of a corporate media whose journalistic functions
are mutated beyond recognition. So fawning are the American media,
they grow to resemble the press of Banana Republics or pre-“liberation”
itself, news censorship is in full swing, creating an information
blackout that attempts to keep the world in the dark about the
horrors of “liberation.” The contrast in the US media’s loud domestic
cheerleading of the War President, and their eerie silence on
non-American deaths on the ground in Iraq, should come as a surprise
to no one.
moral imperative of “liberating” a people worn out by decades
of tyranny is that their humanity and dignity would soon be on
its way to recovery. Included in this package are their heritage,
cultural sensibilities and their freedoms. But as the old adage
has it, actions speak louder than words. Not only are all of
the above false as pertains to this invasion, the rampant greed
imperative stood supreme among the invaders. Oil fields were secured
at lightening speed, while greedy American CEOs anxiously scrambled
for lucrative contracts, ostensibly for Iraq’s “reconstruction,”
and naturally without Iraqi consent. But the real destruction
that requires this “reconstruction” was wreaked for over a decade
by US sanctions, killing 50,000 children annually, according to
UN estimates. To this genocide, which prompted the resignation
of three UN arms inspectors, Madeline Albright, Secretary of State
under Bill Clinton responded: “It will all have been worth it.”
Meanwhile, Iraq’s vast and immensely rich historical heritage
– one that belongs to all of humanity – was left to the
whims of looters. This is a case of crude oil taking precedence
over human heritage. Where else would these priceless artifacts
be found except in the homes of some rich Westerners, making their
pile from other people’s history?
contempt for alien cultures typifies the encounter between colonizer
and the colonized. A renowned British historian, Trevor Roper
once said that Africa is a dark continent and darkness is not
a subject of history, implying that no meaningful history can
be attributed to the dark races. And if any magnificence should
be encountered in their history, it should be sought in the libraries
of the West, where its experts stand ready to explain the native
to himself. Colonialism in essence then equates with the robbery
from the colonized of the sense of the collective self. So this
invasion of Iraq then adds up to more than addiction to oil:
it is utter disdain for the alienated Other and their perceived
outlandish histories and cultures. Consequently, any claims to
the love of liberty as the declared motive for the invasion of
Iraq must be strictly taken for what they represent – for your
info and entertainment only, a bit like your daily horoscope.
it is currently fashionable to obscure intent, no matter how ghastly,
with the language of political correctness. The challenge then
is to try to make sense of events as they unfold. One is forced
to filter out the lies that are emitted at a bewildering pace
and focus on the actual exploits as they transpire in their digitalized
splendor. The trick, here, is to reverse translate
what is presented,
to arrive at a credible analysis from which some sense can be
extracted. Plainly, little sense can be made from studying noble
statements by Thomas Jefferson on individual liberties, penned
and pronounced while he owned slaves of African descent. Clearly,
those statements were aimed at Whites who were deemed more capable
of appreciating individual liberties – all of which must have
sounded pretty hollow and irrelevant for enslaved African Americans.
Presently, as Mr. Trent Lott will tell you, it is perfectly admissible
to be a practicing racist, if you can keep your mouth shut, because
the ghost of political correctness will come to haunt you and
deny you your post as Speaker of the House. The threat to one’s
political fortunes therefore has much less to do with one’s actions
and state of political being than with one’s public pronouncements.
Stated differently, a climate has been constructed where being
a practicing racist is far less egregious than making public proclamations
that define your identity as one.
In a similar
vein, proclamations of that renowned British statesman, Winston
Churchill, must be seen in the pre-correctness era and transported
to present day realities to appreciate the nature of racist American
foreign policy initiatives. Churchill declared: “I am strongly
in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes….
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, a more worldly
wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”
In fact present American foreign policy initiatives with British
backing are an accurate reflection of these sentiments, considering
the death and destruction they have wrought on peoples of Latin
America, Africa and Asia.
such verbal violence is no longer fashionable or permissible in
politically correct times, occasional Freudian slips will continue
to be made. Here is one by Mr. Blair, the British Prime Minister,
in his recent address to the U.S. Congress: “The risk is that
terrorism and states developing weapons of mass destruction come
together.” Well, as far as is known, none have been found in Iraq
and as to where they are truly located and who actually
owns them, no expertise is required to identify them. Using this
logic then, if states developing WMDs are on their way
to terrorism, those that have enough stockpiles of them to destroy
the world several times over must be highly accomplished terrorists
themselves. As one Iraqi put it in the aftermath of the handling
of the bodies of Saddam’s sons and the escalating resistance against
occupation, “But the Americans are criminals and unbelievers.
We got rid of one tyrant and we ended up with a bigger one.”
Iraqi, reacting to the killing of four unarmed countrymen, said
(on public radio) that he had witnessed dogs being rescued on
American TV that received better treatment than Iraqis. My, oh
my, are we in familiar territory or what? Perhaps political incorrectness
might after all have some merit.
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