Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The former colonial powers who now fly the flag of protection and rights as they go to war will not deliver either
AN EXCELLENT COMMENT
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 6 April 2011
"......Because the argument about empire isn't so much about the past, but about the renewed drive to western intervention in the present. And facing up to the colonial record isn't unpatriotic, as Cameron's critics insist, or "anti-western", but a necessity if the danger posed by the imperial revival is to be avoided. The United States has of course long preferred an informal empire of indirect control, punctuated by military intervention and temporary occupations. And the former European colonial powers, notably Britain and France, now follow a similar approach. So it is that the British military has found itself back in its old colonial haunts, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Palestine, and now over Libya, which Britain occupied in the 40s and 50s, maintaining its military presence until Colonel Gaddafi came to power in 1969. They've been joined by Italy, which carried out its own genocidal campaign of repression when it ruled the country before the second world war.....
Just as the European powers built their empires in the name of Christian civilisation, modern liberal imperialism flies the banner of human rights. Nicolas Sarkozy has hailed the new drive for western intervention triggered by the Libyan uprising as offering a new model of "world governance" based on the "responsibility to protect". So long as it remains a pretext for the same powers that have dominated and divided the world selectively to enforce their will, it will deliver neither protection nor rights – but only reinforce the imperial legacy."