?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The inevitable fruits of empire - Journal of Omnifarious

May. 9th, 2004

10:07 pm - The inevitable fruits of empire

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

When I learned of the abuses in the Iraqi prison, I was initially shocked and horrified. Then, after some thought, I realized that it was inevitable.

Our attack on Iraq was never about liberation. It was about empire. If it had been about liberation, we would've gone through the prison evaluating people to see if they were actual criminals or political prisoners, and we would've promptly released all the political prisoners. But, no, our reaction was to interrogate them for information. We weren't interested in the freedom of the Iraqi people or the abuses committed under the governance of Sadam Hussein. No, we were interested in the fact that he'd stopped doing what we told him to do. We wanted a country in the Middle East that would do what we told them to.

It's not surprising that given that kind of message from the people above them, that the people we put in charge of the prison started treating the prisoners with the same lack of respect for them as human beings as they'd been treated previously. That prison was essentially the same facility, with the same purpose, just with different owners.

This is what empire is about. This is not what liberation looks like. This is why we have people in Iraq who never liked Sadam Hussein rising up against us and fighting a guerrilla war supported by the population at large.

In fact, whenever we take it upon ourselves to act as 'liberators', this is what will happen. Oppressed people lose their dignity when someone else frees them without their help. It shatters their culture or deprives them of the chance to form a working one of their own if it has already been shattered. Having someone else liberate your body does nothing for the shackles you've made for yourself in your mind.

Given this, we should be thankful that the people of Iraq are trying to take it back over from us. If we want truly free people there, we want people who are willing to fight (violently, or non-violently) and die for what they have.

Current Mood: [mood icon] angry
Current Music: Evanescence - Tourniquet

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:somewoman
Date:May 10th, 2004 07:17 am (UTC)

How true

(Link)
You forgot "...Saudia Arabia would seem to be the most logical choice, except that we are the Saudi royal family's bitch. Thus, Iraq."
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:omnifarious
Date:May 10th, 2004 07:27 am (UTC)

Re: How true

(Link)

That's only partly true. Saudi Arabia is a tricky case because their leaders maintain control by whipping up public resentment against us while privately doing what we want them to, within limits.

So, the limitations there are both because the Saudi leadership has too much influence over ours, and because they are hampered by their own strategy for maintaining control.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:omnifarious
Date:May 10th, 2004 07:32 am (UTC)

Re: How true

(Link)

Though, I would also submit that any puppet government we install will end up with their leadership having too much influence over ours, and will also end up having to resort to a similar strategy to maintain control. When you try to maintain an empire covertly, the dishonesty puts you at a disadvantage that those who you purportedly control can use to gain undue influence.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:omnifarious
Date:May 10th, 2004 07:39 am (UTC)

Re: How true

(Link)

Come to think of it, that explains some other things about Saddam Hussein.

He sarted out as a puppet government of ours. But, in order to maintain control of his people, he had to manufacture conflict and threats where none existed. So, he decided he had the nod from us to invade Kuwait (manufacture conflict). Then, when we beat him back, he had another scapegoat for public anger, us. The problem is, he really was angry at us, and stopped doing what we asked.

All this covert mucking about in the affairs of other countries just leads to worse troubles. I don't know why we can't seem to learn. Probably the collective we have, but the covert actions of our government are not in our control in even a small way.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 25th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC)

Re: How true

(Link)
Covert action. Like good old Chomsky has been blethering on for years -- Top Secret US activities are only Top Secret for Americans. The people getting fucked around by the activities, don't consider them a secret at all. When you are dead or maimed or whatever, it's usually an "Open Secret" as to who was behind it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:omnifarious
Date:May 25th, 2004 10:54 pm (UTC)

Re: How true

(Link)

*nod* It's a great failure of our press that they don't report on it. :-( Who are you? You're from the eastern seaboard. :-)

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)