Monday, January 12, 2009

Colonialism: What For?

There were compelling reasons for European colonialism, created largely in the 19th century, and peaking in the early 20th. Most of them had to do with money: Smallish European countries exploited much larger tracts of territories elsewhere, taking out minerals, selling in their own industrial products, exploiting cheap labor where this made sense, and eventually recruiting large numbers of natives to fight in the European wars of the 20th century. Of course it was more complex, but I think that's a reasonable synopsis. The British, by the way, at least said they were bringing enlightened modernity to benighted primitives, so they had a moral justification; to an extent, this was demonstrably true. The rest of the European colonials don't seem much to have troubled themselves.

Whenever a post-colonial-guilt-ridden-hate-infused critic of Israel sets off on one of their rants about Israel's colonialism, it might be a good tactic to calm then down and ask them, quietly, to describe what precisely Israel's colonial goals are. Certainly not exploitation of Palestinian mineral resources, of which there are none? Selling Israeli produce? To the Palestinians? Huh? Exploiting cheap labor: For a while we were indeed doing this, and the level of Palestinian economic quality of life rose dramatically, but that was before the 1990s; nowadays Israelis employ very few Palestinians because of the security complications, and the sole losers are the Palestinians themselves; the Israelis have replaced them with Africans, Asians and East-Europeans. As for the idea of recruiting them for our wars, well....

Like the British, however, Israel did have the conceit of improving life for the Palestinians. In one case, for example, Israel refurbished the largest hospital in Gaza, and even built an entire second wing, including a large concrete basement.... Yup, this is going exactly where you thought it might be going: Hamas leaders hiding in basement of Israel-built hospital in Gaza.


Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken "colonialism-theory" makes the distinction between "colonies of settlement" like the English colonies in North America and Australia and "colonies of exploitation" like India. Since you refer only to the latter type, you miss the argument against those who employ the former to attack Israel.

Anonymous said...


It's interesting to me that we can go back and see what an effect ROME had on the rest of the West.

In other words, ROME conquered! And, in doing so brought up to speed large parts of the known world who BENEFITTED "copying" the Romans. You didn't know that?


Could'a fooled me.

Where the Brits were barbarians was in the slave trade. A real money maker that did terrible damage. While "back home" in England, the poor Whites filled the jobs of the aristocrats. An interesting reasoning that went into the SPLIT between America and England back in 1776.

In other words? You can learn from history that some groups just don't take living under the thumbs of monarchy; unless it's home grown.

As to England, there were real benefits in the "give and take." For Ireland? What a pity! But what really does Ireland in is the potato famine. (Just in case you think Dubya had 'no answer' to Katrina, but funny ones) ... The English never did learn how to treat any of its subjects like citizens. TO THIS DAY!

For some? Pomp and circumstance is grand. The Catholics also get this from the Vatican. And, in all of its churches. But at least there's CHOICE!

And, "colonialization" was really put to an end by FDR! Who grabbed the English Jewel in the Crown, India; and blessed her peoples with freedom.

Yes, FDR created the UN.

FDR "switched" veeps in his 1994 election ... because it's possible he wanted to leave the Presidency and become the head of the UN. (The UN was wholely he's idea.) So, it's a big surprise to me he gets no credit.

No, FDR didn't think he was going to die! He had spent years as an invalid. He had no idea heart disease would cut his life so short. He was 63. (Did you know his doctors didn't tell him?)

Life goes on. But it rarely continues the way grandparents think, when their kids are first born. Because time produces pressures. And, the new generations discards the old.

As to the current state of affairs from England? I have my doubts we're getting the view of most of the people. Only the entrenched aristocracy. And, that's something that's dealt with ... just like Winston Churchill learned. "Going backwards" to when there was an Anglo-American alliance, wasn't going to put Americans under any British thumbs.

Of course, it's not part of history books! To know this stuff you've had to have read through many, many different biographies. (But ya know what? Light bulbs still go on.)

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

it might be a good tactic to calm then down and ask them, quietly, to describe what precisely Israel's colonial goals are

Although this is part of a Habara talking point, I'll answer it like you really wanted to know.

1) Selling Israeli produce: of course! Israel sells products to the PA, which are paid for with money that comes from European donors. According to one source, "In 2005, the value of Israeli exports to the PA was approximately US$2.5-2.7 billion." And it's a captive market. When you're running a $4 bn dollar trade deficit, it's good to know that you'll always enjoy a $2 bn surplus with someone regardless of the quality of the merchandise you sell.

2) Mineral resources: Of course! What about a mineral whose formula is H2O? Water from the Jordan river and West Bank aquifers is used by Jews and Arabs in a proportion of 5.5:1 (favorable to the Jews). I'm convinced this is one of the essential reasons behind Israel's colonial enterprise in the West Bank.

Anonymous said...


Goals, "schmoals." Today people not only look at Internet sites; they read the comments. And, today at Free Republic I saw a question asked:

How long will it take before ham-ass becomes known as dumb-ass?

Also, you have to account for Abbas. Seems he is "waiting for something." Do you think he will get a parade as he enters gaza? Is that it? His military? Or parade floats?

Can fatah come back without vengence?

How will the hamass goons make a run for the exit?

If I didn't know there was once "burlesque," I wouldn't know that it's already disappeared. But these things do happen.

Meanwhile, so far? The BEST YOU TUBE VIDEO has been put up by an arab. I saw it at FREE REPUBLIC. And, it showed hamass killing fatah wedding participants. Their crime was singing. (Perhaps Fatah songs.) But does it matter? Killing the bridegroom at his own wedding; seems cruel. Beyond measure. Goons who took over and terrified about a million people. Since not all of gaza are "true believers."

While how many "end games" can you still choose from?

My favorite would be watching Israel just pack up and leave. No paper. No clowns coming in for TV or PR face time.

Oh, and Olmert just repeating what's he's already said: "Send in one rocket and we will be back."

I know few people see this as a solution. But you got a better one? A big welcoming parade for Abbas? Why? I don't care what Abbas does. Or what he gets.

To solve the problems of missiles being tossed in ... EVEN LEBANON 2006 worked wonders! How do I know? They're not tossing in anymore since then!

Sure. You can say "Lebanon is Shi'ite. And, gaza is sunni. (And, never do these tribes support each other.)

Or you can look at the "balance wheel."

Olmert's very, very good! In Lebanon 2006, he saw Condi dancing with the UN, on a piece of paper: #1701. This time? Olmert calls Bush. Some noses are out of joint. But Condi "CAN'T SIGN!" a new piece of paper. So she vote's "present" by abstaining. Notice this: Condi is no longer considered a condendah to be a GOP presidential nominee. Okay. And, neither is Jeb Bush.

Hillary watches. And, hopes to remain not just an SOS (Secretary of State), but someone who can come back into the White House. Preferably in 2012. But, if not? Viably in 2016. No matter what happens in between; she can't slip on Condi's banana peel!

Yes. People are watching.

If it was me? The action ends. No papers get signed. People could wonder if it's over. Or not. And, that means in the end "confusion." After this experience the IDF knows it can go back in!

Egypt's also musing on how to get a piece of the "rescue funds" coming up ahead.

You tell me. How did Hamas land iranian money? The saud's were funding the palestinians for the longest time.

True. Most people have no idea that there are factions. Or tribal interests. That best gets balance by not letting any particular arab entity enjoy owning all. With Bush leaving the white House, the saud's got their Mideast real estate bubble busted, real good.