Friday, 17 August 2018

A response to Tom Engelhardt

The Antiwar website has published an article by Tom Engelhardt in which he decries the endless Amerikastani war on Afghanistan, now in its 17th straight year of endless failure. Here is my response to that article, which is probably worth reposting here:

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."*

- Osama bin Laden.

Over and over I find a peculiar racism in all Western attitudes towards us non white people. To the neocon cabal we are just inconveniences; people who happen to live above the oil and minerals they think they should own by natural right. To others we are natural hewers of wood and drawers of water, the sweatshop workers who make their fancy consumer electronics and designer clothes, the people who take apart their rubbish, and they pat themselves on the back that they are giving us crumbs from the, sorry, that we're their "partners". And to the liberals...ah, liberal racism is another thing entirely. To the liberal Westerner we Asians, Africans (and I assume South Americans) are helpless children to be led by the hand towards the glories of Western civilisation. I have previously defined Western liberalism as

"...the mental disorder that permits one to advocate the invasion of countries on the other side of the planet, and the massacre of the husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons of brown women to give those brown women the right to lie naked on the beach."

To all these three groups, the resistance put up by the Afghans (and the Iraqis after them) was not just unimaginable but incomprehensible. How could they be

1. So fanatical, so dead-enderish, as to rise up against the "greatest military machine the world has ever seen" with fifty year old AK47s and homemade bombs? The cause must be their evil religion or (Vietnam) communist ideology! (Neocons)

2. So blind as to their own best interests as (very, very junior) partners of the glorious Western capitalist enterprise? How could they not want jobs making Samsung phones or scrapping Belgian ships with their bare hands? 

3. So blind as to ignore the freedom  on offer - the glorious world of casinos, nude beaches, and television with 300 channels filled with toothpaste advertisements? (Liberals)

To all these people, you'll note, the simple idea that anyone would want to fight them is incomprehensible, and the only solution would be to impose more violence on them until they buckle. That we non white people might actually fight for our countries even if we're atheists of no particular ideological view, and even if we despise the government in power is something impossible to imagine.

And that is why they always fail, and always will.

By the way, Engelhardt, Imran Khan is Pakistan's prime minister, not president. Not every country on earth has a presidential form of government like yours, you know. 

Or, if you'd bothered to Google for fifteen seconds, you would know.


  1. BRAVO!!
    Bill, I used to read Tom Dispatch often some years back. Then he started pushing certain liberal folks that just made me sick. I try to cut Tom a bit of slack as he is older than me. Yeah, I know, hard to imagine that, with me being older than dirt and twice as dusty.
    Within the first two months of my tour in the Vietnam war I realized they, the Vietnamese, were the colonists and the US military were the damn British red coats.
    While I see the donkey gang and the elephant gan as being the two sides of the very same coin, if I were forced to be part of one I'd go with the elephants. At least they are up front in what they want from the rest of the world, everything they can grab hold of. The bloody donkey gang are liars and I despise liars even more than those whose greed knows no bounds.

  2. This afternoon, I heard a guy on the radio going through the old saw about how African Americans brought here as slaves have a much standard of living than they would have had my country not enslaved them and forcibly removed them from Africa.

    It reminds me now of your line here about "So blind as to their own best interests as (very, very junior) partners of the glorious Western capitalist enterprise?"

    I guess (I guess) that it's an underlying assumption that everyone else is sort of like quasi-employees and tenants of the people running the North. And I know that these underlying assumptions have affected me in ways I don't realize.

  3. Good article and two good comments.



Full comment moderation is enabled on this site, which means that your comment will only be visible after the blog administrator (in other words, yours truly) approves it. The purpose of this is not to censor dissenting viewpoints; in fact, such viewpoints are welcome, though it may lead to challenges to provide sources and/or acerbic replies (I do not tolerate stupidity).

The purpose of this moderation is to eliminate spam, of which this blog attracts an inordinate amount. Spammers, be warned: it takes me less time to delete your garbage than it takes for you to post it.