Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Brief History of Race War

With folks expressing their displeasure at the police having a license to kill, it seems all the closet racists are in a race to out themselves:
If I were a white guy living near Ferguson, you had better bet I am buying ammo to protect my property and family. These "protesters" seem to be the most racist aspect of this story.
These people are burning the city down.
The same old, same old its not our fault. Poor us. Fuck the white man because he is the only reason I don't have an education.
YOU types down in Ferguson are what gives all blacks a bad name.
That's really the most common complaint: "Well, you darkies are violent thugs!" And while it's easy to dismiss such a statement for the pigheaded racism it obviously is, I thought it would be instructive to rub everyone's face in the heinous shit white people have done to non-whites all through the 20th Century, especially the post-war period when all the "civilized" powers agreed genocide was a no-no.

Rather than start with the obvious like the Torture Report, I thought we'd kick things off with that oft-cited modern genocide Rwanda. Because it's popularly accepted as a pretty terrible thing and not many people know about the role played by one white Belgian, Georges Ruggiu. A nebbishy loser who befriended a Hutu at university, he traveled to Rwanda in 1990 to take a job at Radio Mille Collines where he spewed racist, pro-genocide rhetoric on behalf of the soon to be genocidaires: "Clean out your houses! Get rid of the cockroaches!"  

Before you go and defend Ruggiu's tirades against "cockroaches" as free speech or coincidental to the ensuing killings, he not only confessed to conspiracy to commit genocide but rolled on the entire station as the propoganda wing of "Hutu extremists." Quite some time ago in fact: Boy Georges was thrown in a Tanzanian prison back in 1997, where he was rightly beaten silly, before sleazing his way into an Italian prison and finally back home to Belgium. Across the same period, he grew a beard and changed his name to "Omar" to get shelter from gullible African Islamists who go gaga over palefaces joining the Ummah for some reason.

But the grossest thing about Ruggiu is how he had to go looking for the sort violence that used to be SOP for white folks in the tropics as recently as his childhood years in the 1960s and 1970s. Like Algeria, a place so screwed up, one of the jihadi militias actually went "Fuck it, let's be satanists." Though you can't blame this screwed up state on general Africanness, as Tories and other subomegaloid swine are wont to do, as there's a pretty recent history of both French military and settlers getting up to their elbows in Algerian blood. This stretched from just after World War II - including Camus's passive-aggressive celebration of killing an Arab - all the way up through the final French withdrawal in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, the Brits were doing their best to send the Kikuyu of Kenya down the same path as German Jews. The lackluster Mau Mau uprising, which managed to kill 32 British occupiers in about as many years, provided the excuse to murder of 90,000 Kenyans while being low impact enough that Her Majesty's ministers could divert other resources to the insurrection in Malaysia. Called the Malayan Emergency, because Lloyd's wouldn't cover the losses of the rubber and tin companies if war were declared, it continued the great British tradition of brutalizing the Burmese. In a prelude to American military operations like Mai Lai and Haditha, British troops massacred unarmed villagers not three years after lecturing and wagging their fingers at Germans who dared to massacre other Europeans.

Not a decade after the Brits got down and dirty in Southeast Asia, the US took its turn. But we're not going to dwell on that despite a million dead Vietnamese in what US Army veteran Stan Goff explicitly and frequently calls a race war. Everyone but the odd old crank accepts Vietnam was a bad thing, even if only because lots of brave American boys died for poorly defined reasons and it wasn't even a win.

Instead, let's look at the Doolittle Raid in World War II. That's always trotted out as the Good War, the battle for freedom against tyranny and all that. The glorious patriotic conflict in which hundreds of thousands of women and children were burned alive in Tokyo. Doolittle's inital run only scorched some 400 civvies, a low as massacre figures go, so the US Army Air Corps kept at it all the way up to 1945, including a carpet bombing of downtown Tokyo by three hundred B-29s. The Doolittle raid is often excused as revenge for Pearl Harbor but not even the amateur fascists doing military history in the US bother to explain the strategic point behind the March raid and its 125,000 dead Japanese civilians. Like the Brits with the Kikuyu, they just don't say anything.

Skipping over the rest of World War II, with all of its gas chambers and fire bombings directed at other white folks, we see a German crime that doesn't get nearly as much attention: the systematic extermination of the Herero people. Having had it up to here with the revolts against their rule by the native inhabitants of the land, German troops forced "rebel" Herero and their families out into the desert and kept them there until the vast majority died of dehydration. Those that tried to slip away from the main force and sneak back to their homes were stymied by Lothar von Trotha's extermination order: "Any Herero found within the German borders with or without a gun, with or without cattle, will be shot."

The Germans eventually got bored shooting women and children and switched to concentration camps. Which they learned from the British. In a rare instance of lax German accounting, the only casualty figure for Herero forced into camps is "Most of 'em."

This systematic extermination looks positively serene, however, in comparison to the British invasion of Tibet occurring at roughly the same time. Literally on a whim at the start of the 20th century, the British Raj decided to add Tibet to its empire of misery and dispatched a young Jesus-freak lieutenant to make it happen. Because no religion has spilled more blood on more continents than Anglicanism.
The War Nerd sums up what happened next better than I ever could:
Younghusband marched into Tibet in December 1903 with a force of Sikhs and Gurkhas—pretty scary mix, like rottweiler plus pit bull. And the Gurkhas were definitely the pit bulls in that pair. Sikhs are very tough but not blood-crazy. The Gurkhas were not only devoted lovers of knife-work, especially on POWs, but ancient enemies of the Tibetans. It didn’t take much to push them to a massacre. The Tibetans knew the British were dangerous and tried not to resist at all. But as the British force pushed farther and farther into Tibet, the local commanders decided to resist. That was a mistake. This wasn’t Tony Blair’s cool Britannia they were dealing with. On March 31, 1904, Younghusband encountered a Tibetan militia force of about 2000 guarding a pass near Gyantse. He must have had a hard time keeping a straight face or wiping the drool from his lips, thinking about the medals he’d get for this one, because the Tibetans were armed either with spears and swords or at best with matchlock muskets. That’s right: the kind of 17th-century firearm that won’t fire unless you apply the smouldering wick to the firing pan. Younghusband decided to play with the poor fuckers he was facing. He said, “My friends, my friends, what’s all this hostility? Why dees paranoia? Here, I’ll tell MY soldiers to take the bullets out of their rifles, and you tell YOUR soldiers to put out the flame of their matchlocks.” The Tibetans, who had no idea that Younghusband’s troops had modern repeating rifles, put out their matchlocks. Younghusband then ordered his troops to open fire. 1300 Tibetans were killed, with almost no British casualties.
And before that? Imagine a hundred Tibets in a hundred countries for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Always the white "civilized" tribe going to great and gruesome lengths in its attempts to exterminate all the darker "savage" tribes, when not enslaving and raping everyone who had the misfortune to be born outside Europe.

So tell us again, aggrieved white folks - who are the violent thugs in this world?

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