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May 11, 2005

Comments

I guess they think it's the white man's burden to make those natives get along.

face down Gandhi

I take it throwing him in prison wasn't harsh enough.

Extraordinary rendition, perhaps?

Takes the breath away, that does.

You can almost hear the echoes.

"Send in a gunboat, and give the natives a thrashing."

given the rise in enlistment ages, are any of these lunatics still young enough to serve? If they're so ready to give that scum a lesson, shouldn't they be encouraged to go (and stay)?

I guess everything is Iraqified these days. This has nothing to do with India IMO, its expressing his opinion on Iraq: the rabble must be kept down, otherwise the country will break apart in civil war.
(Yes, this is just IMHO and I'm the one bringing up Iraq. Just wanted to offer a halfway caritable interpretation.)

Gandhi and his rabble... He must have missed the movie. (just trying to by charitable).

Maybe, I'm missing something... from your link the exchange went like this:

...triggers a wonderful exchange between a feminist from India and Roger Kimball of the New Criterion. It's great to see someone standing up for colonialism, especially British colonialism. I agree wholeheartedly with this observation, for example:

Had Britain had the courage to face down Gandhi and his rabble a few years longer, the tragedy that was the partititon of India might have been avoided.

Your post and the cross posts seem to have left out the last part of his comment...

I do have one word of advice for Roger: Stay off the college lecture circuit. I don't think they're ready for this much diversity!


So his advice to Roger is to stay off the college lecture circuit. It sounds alot like he is being sarcastic. I could be wrong. But, that's just how I read it. This seems like a smear job and you got suckered into it.

Gandhi and his rabble. So, I think the Right (exemptions handed out most freely ;)] believes they have awoken from a long dismal night of political correctness and if the wogs don't like it, so much the better.

Abramoff, Hinderaker, and company talk just like most Republicans I know, including some family members and some dear friends, talk in the privacy of their homes. I don't think having my soft liberal sensibilities shocked is the way to go any longer.

Everyone has free speech, including me. Including very loud speech with invitations to go into the street and settle it. I once had a friend not long ago express Limbaugh-like frustration at the growing homelessness problem in my city by proposing to buy a machine gun and mow them down. I proposed buying him the weapon and driving the get-away vehicle if he was up to the actual killing. He, the Limbaugh coward, backed down. He's still a friend but I notice we don't talk politics much any longer.

Give it right back in your personal life and throw some chairs and, if posting rules permit, do it on the internet, too. Really, their bowels turn to Custer(d). The one chemical they recognize when it's in excess is testoerone, because they think they are tough guys and the tougher they make the world, the better it will be for the wogs. Plus, taxes will be reduced.

Gandhi didn't handle it properly. Jimmy Breslin would.

It's funny. And I hope it keeps being funny, because otherwise there will be trouble.

Well goodness, someone has to bring Ghandi and FDR down several notches. It makes it so much easier to make moral midgets look life-size. Who is next on the Neo hit-list, that scallywag Mother Theresa?

123concrete - The "stay off the college lecture circuit" line is a reference to the intolerance which the Powerline crew thinks liberal academics have for viewpoints other than their own. It is a jokingly expressed, but completely sincere, belief. It has nothing to do with sarcasm about the rest of the post.

Who is next on the Neo hit-list, that scallywag Mother Theresa?

Christopher Hitchens already took care of that one.

"... they have AWAKENED ..."

What do you expect from the grammatical rabble?

"Gandhi and his rabble."

Gandhi and his rabble?

I checked the original post at New Criterion. In the course of his neener-neener apologia for colonialism, Kimball regretfully allows that "The Belgians did not acquit themselves honorably in the Congo."

Apparently the neo-con Right has declared ideological war on the entire Greatest Generation. They call the generation that endured the Depression and fought WWII vampires; Bush calls Churchill and FDR weak-willed appeasers; now New Criterion is tossing fecal Molotovs at national liberators.

Do they utter such inanitities for effect? Is there a point they're making - aside from celebrating their own amazing, wallowing, glue-sniffing ignorance? Is "Dickweed" the new intellectual standard to which the neo-con Right aspires?

John Thullen: Gandhi didn't handle it properly. Jimmy Breslin would.

Perhaps we should recommend Buffy's impression of Gandhi?

Awe-inspiring misreadings of history

This reminds me of Christopher Hitchens calling U.S. support for Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war "one of Jimmy Carter's great crimes."

Statements like these speak volumes about those who make them, far more than the subject at hand. It would be a good contest: what's the most egregious example you've ever heard?

CaseyL: I know it's hard to believe they mean what they say, so we wonder what they really mean; maybe it's code; maybe it's an effort to elicit an effect. So, we put our reasoning caps on and try to explain to them, you know2, if you really thought about this, etc.

Forget it. They say what they mean. They mean what they say. There is no sub-text. There is no code. They must be disabused, not given the charity of rational discussion.

they've learned that the best way to get attention is to say outrageous things. they are meta-trolls, following in the cloven hoof-prints of Coulter.

The funny thing about that kind of attention is that it's highly front-loaded and attenuated. You get a spike riding the outrage, but nobody can take you seriously anymore and you lose the respect that would give you any long-term weight.

I know that I have said this before in so many words, but

Pakistan and Israel both became nations in 1948 by acts of the UN.

Pakistan slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Bengalis or Bangladeshis in the early 1970's and there is nobody posting at Obsidian Wings who really cares about that.

Israel fought 2 wars against Arab states that seek to drive Jews out of the middle east permanently, and the progressives special definition of Zionism is that it equals racism.

The Jenin massacre that was so well publicized resulted in the deaths of around 60 Palistinians.

So, there are no Jewish citizens of Suadi Arabia, Jordan, Libya, Yemen, and very a handful left in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, UAE, Bahrain, etc., when there had been over 750,000 spread across these countries in the early part of the 20th century.

But the funny thing is that there are about as many Muslims left in India as live in Pakistan. And those guys actually could leave India if they really felt like they needed to do so.

they've learned that the best way to get attention is to say outrageous things. they are meta-trolls, following in the cloven hoof-prints of Coulter.

Typical of the level of discourse on this thread and a few otheres here. See, the problem with the liberals is that they are not mean enough. The way to get the message out is to get people feeling really mad. Maybe Moby could give some tips here.

bold off

So, DaveC, do you have a point?

Yes, it is that even though

The divisions between Hindus and Muslims were deep, and with Jinnah, the head of the All-India Muslim league, supporting partition, it seems unlikely that given a few more years of unwelcome British rule, everyone would have settled down and decided to get along.

perhaps it would have been better to have waited a while for the division of India, and dare I say it, perhaps it would have been better if the split between Palistine, as originally conceived as the equivalent of Israel, and Jordan had been as the gone as the British
had originally intended.

Pakistan slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Bengalis or Bangladeshis in the early 1970's and there is nobody posting at Obsidian Wings who really cares about that.

a) Are you sure?
b) Pakistan was, for many years before and after the massacres, considered a staunch American ally. Do you think it would be fair to say that Ford, Carter and Reagan all failed to care about the massacre? What about Nixon, whose response was "diplomatic" at best?
c) The Bangladeshis have, in turn, committed their share of massacres against the Jumma. [Not at all to the same scale, mind, but the killing of innocents is still the killing of innocents.] Is there no-one posting here who cares about that?

The Jenin massacre that was so well publicized resulted in the deaths of around 60 Palistinians.

How many people died at Columbine? At Conyers? [Does anyone besides me even remember that one?] In the pursuit of a runaway bride? Publicization, in this country, regrettably has f***-all to do with any kind of meaning or importance, as we on the left have been saying for years.* If you're going to judge importance by the level of publicity, you're going to be a bitter, twisted man before your time.

* I'd assume the same is true of the right, but I'm not as personally familiar with that.

DaveC: "there is nobody posting at Obsidian Wings who really cares about that."

What on earth gives you the right to say that?

What on earth gives you the right to say that?

I think I told a story before about after 9/11 I used to read columns in Dawn and the Nation(PK) and they would talk about Jinnah this, and 1948 that, and I thought to myself, hey wasn't that the same year the state of Israel was created? Surely somebody else thought the same thought, but I had never read anything about that so I will consider it an original insight, and like I said in an earlier comment here, I wrote Irfan Husain (Mazdak), a good guy from Dawn and he said to me something like "Gee,I never thought about that" and sort of dropped that coincidence into one of his columns. Needless to say, he was shown the errors of his ways and his next column was excoriating Israel for something or the other.

Now I have read at least a few anti-Israel (or white people in ME are racists) comments in ObWi the commentary, but nothing about East Pakistan. But perhaps I missed some posts, because I cannot keep up with everything.

or rather let me state that as I have read opinions here that the problem in the ME was that Jews colonized Israel and were a prime cause of ensuing conflicts, when in fact many Israeli Jews were driven from their ancestral homelands in what are now exclusively, or nearly exclusively, Arab or Muslim states.

DaveC: "there is nobody posting at Obsidian Wings who really cares about that."

What on earth gives you the right to say that?

I tried searching ObWi with that button on the top right for "Bangali" and "Bangladesh", and got no hits, but I confess that was after I wrote the comment.

So if nobody here has written a post about what happened in Pakistan in 1948, nobody cares about it? Huh. That's rock-solid logic, there.

See, the problem with the liberals is that they are not mean enough.

riiight. if i didn't think you were just trolling, i'd give you a few links to lefty sites who are every bit as inflammatory as the powerline guys.

I want to comment but keep deleting it. It's just that my personal cultural heritage was so f--d up by colonial brutality that I can't talk coherently.
I suggest he take a trip to India and repeat his comment there.

I have never seen Edward post about his nephew. Therefore, assuming he has a nephew, he doesn't care about him.

DaveC, please don't blog drunk.

"DaveC, please don't blog drunk."

New slogan for blog ethics movement -- Friends don't let friends blog drunk.

It's a slippery road. When I blog drunk, I tend to tell embarrassing stories about splitting my pants on a dance floor. Others accuse a wide swath of people of being indifferent to mass death without any meaningful evidence.

"Pakistan slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Bengalis or Bangladeshis in the early 1970's and there is nobody posting at Obsidian Wings who really cares about that."

Interestingly, this occured under the watch of a Republican administration.

"DaveC, please don't blog drunk."

New slogan for blog ethics movement -- Friends don't let friends blog drunk.

More specific slogan here -- Comments welcome only from syncophants.

Y'all look upthread and down. I suppose I'm the only one who didn't get the memo.

Opportunity costs. Every time you blog about something, you are not blogging about something else. Unfortunately, the world is so full of injustice that it's impossible for any one blogger to cover everything.
So, DaveC, if you want to pick Pakistan as your subject, go ahead. No one is stopping you.

More specific slogan here -- Comments welcome only from syncophants.

I usually don't put on my grammar nazi hat, but: the word is "sycophant". I'm not certain who here is influential enough that we're supposed to be flattering them, but I suppose that's flattering to the staff by implication. Please put down the thesaurus and step away from it slowly.

In any event, I misdoubt that it is sychophancy at issue--rather, a distaste for historically ignorant arguments which make sweeping and prima facie absurd generalizations about the people who comment here.

Dave, you're right. I guess it's tough when the people on this site agree on every single issue. When Charles called hilzoy "Walter Duranty," he just meant that she, like Walter, is a really good cook.

Please just admit that accusing someone of being indifferent to mass death is a serious charge and requires relevant evidence. If you want to, you can try to find some. I'd love it if you could pick me up some roast snipe and maybe a wild goose while you're on the prowl.

if you want to pick Pakistan as your subject, go ahead

Look I thought the original post said:

The divisions between Hindus and Muslims were deep, and with Jinnah, the head of the All-India Muslim league, supporting partition, it seems unlikely that given a few more years of unwelcome British rule, everyone would have settled down and decided to get along.

So, I thought the post in part, was about the consequences of 1948, which has a particular meaning for India and Pakistan.

My point was that the post WW2 historical events that led to the division of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh did come at a price, and in the case of Bangladesh it was a heavy price. Not that Gandhi could necessarily foreseen any of that, or that the events necesssarily had to turn out the way they did. I wasn't aware of the history of it until much later. praktike is right about who was president then, and did nothing at the time. Frankly, more people were interested in Vietnam, and thought of Bangladesh as a pretty cool album if anything.

Please just admit that accusing someone of being indifferent to mass death is a serious charge and requires relevant evidence.

I just used my own personal experience as evidence of this by the way. No Karnak necessary.

But I thought posing historical counterfactuals is fair game when thinking about history, which appeared to me to be the controversy here.

DaveC: that part of my comment was meant to say: the first problem with Kimball's statement, which Hindrocket agrees with, is this: a few more years of British rule would probably not have prevented partition. If I thought they would have, I would think there was a serious case to be made for their remaining. But since I don't, my concern for the million or so people who died during the aftermath of partition does not lead me to think: if only the British had stayed.

Here is a short list of things I have not blogged on that I care about:

The treatment of Africans in the Belgian Congo under Belgian rule
The French revolution
The Chinese opium wars
The burning of the library of Alexandria
My grandparents
The fact that there are no reports of Red Knots out of Delaware yet, and there should be, since migration is underway
Krakatoa
The sinking of the Titanic
The crash of 1929
All other crashes
The extinction of many of New Zealand's indigenous flightless birds
The birth of Christ
The annoyance of trying to find a good contractor to redo my walkway
The question whether I will have to have abdominal surgery every summer from now until eternity.

This list is not exhaustive. And there are things on this list that I care more about than some of the things I have written about. Go figure.

hilzoy, I was trying to say that Bangladesh was part of the whole deal with South Asia, and that many people do not consider this. I was not simply trying to make an abusive statement. It's just that I am a crappy unpersuasive writer and apparently have trouble making what I think is a legitimate point.

OK. Thanks.

the problem with the liberals is that they are not mean enough

I'm not sure what's more sad: that you think this is advice worth giving, or that you think it's worth giving to strangers on an internet comment board.

I'm fascinated by the grandiose fantasies of little men like Hindrocket and Goldberg partly because they are so totally detached from reality. Goldberg will never re-colonize Africa; Gandhi's dead and gone and Hindrocket wants to be Evelyn Waugh. Do they believe these fantasies? Are they suffering the kinds of delusions of grandeur I cross the street to avoid; or is it all just emotionally satisfying political fanfic. Common agitprop is the simplest explanation, I guess, interesting to me only because I can't fathom the kind of person who can turn out that level of ultimately insignificant bullshit on demand.

More abstractly, demonstrations of the way the internets let people live out their power (and other) fantasies, and the rhetorical forms, largely agonistic, they take, are one of the reasons I read blogs. Trying to understand how (or if) these fantasies affect political reality is why I think about them.

The Right doesn't have a monopoly on this whole business, of course, but lately they seem to own a controlling share of the stock.

DaveC, Seymour Hersh wrote a book about Henry Kissinger back in 1983 and it has a fair amount about Pakistan's gigantic slaughter in Bangladesh in 1971 . Some estimates go as high as 3 million dead--the general range is several hundred thousand to 3 million, though I've seen one down in the tens of thousands. Anyway, Nixon and Kissinger sided with Pakistan against India--India didn't appreciate having 10 million Bengali refugees streaming across their border and eventually went to war against Pakistan to stop the slaughter. Imagine that--the US government was on the side of the country that committed one of the largest massacres of the second half of the 20th century. Possibly the largest massacre of all.

Hitchens also wrote a little about this in his own Kissinger book. Chomsky devotes a little bit of attention to it in one of his books as well and has mentioned India's war with Pakistan as one of a handful of possible examples of a military intervention carried out in part for humanitarian reasons.

It's true that probably not everyone knows about this massacre, but it is one of the standard examples liberal/lefties cite when we talk about the evil of American foreign policy. It's funny seeing you bring it up in this context.

Yeah yeah, blah blah.

The point here is that liberals are weak. Get it yet? Gandhi advocated non-violence, more weakness. W is strong because he doesn't care what you think.

Republicans would follow Hitler or Stalin or Mao if they hadn't already been demonized. And they're only demonized because they're losers, not because they killed a bunch of people.

It's all how you look at things.

Offhand, I can't imagine why Kimball or Hinderaker thinks that partition could have been avoided had the British stayed a few years longer. The divisions between Hindus and Muslims were deep, and with Jinnah, the head of the All-India Muslim league, supporting partition, it seems unlikely that given a few more years of unwelcome British rule, everyone would have settled down and decided to get along.

It's well-known that the courageous warriors of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists (especially Jonah the Pantload Goldberg) believe that any war can be won if you just kill enough people. Especially if others do the killing for you.

Stalin was a loser? USSR didn't fall apart on his watch. Hell, they were admiringly quoting him recently... "no man, no problem!"

"...believe that any war can be won if you just kill enough people."

Again, speaking technically, that seems to actually be rather indisputable. (For a certain value of "any," which could go into some tangles.)

However, whether it's morally legitimate to kill "enough people" in specific circumstances in a whole 'nother question, and the relevant one, not the faux above. But if you want to simply assert the above point (probably not), the city fathers of Carthage might argue with you were it not for a certain problem.

Again, speaking technically, that seems to actually be rather indisputable. (For a certain value of "any," which could go into some tangles.)

And, more importantly, a certain value of "won".

And btw, welcome back once again Gary :)

"...believe that any war can be won if you just kill enough people."

Again, speaking technically, that seems to actually be rather indisputable. (For a certain value of "any," which could go into some tangles.)

Reminds me of this saying: "Yes, 2 + 2 does equal 5 ... for sufficiently large values of 2..."

Cheers,

hey wasn't that the same year the state of Israel was created?

I don't get the point you're trying to make here. You are aware that Jewish colonization of Palestine had been ongoing for 70 years and escalating every year at that point and that they had been in the years before WWII considered a terrorist problem by the Brits, right?

Get it yet? Gandhi advocated non-violence, more weakness. W is strong because he doesn't care what you think.

Yeah and that Jesus was the Queen-Mama pussy of all time.

hilzoy, I was trying to say that Bangladesh was part of the whole deal with South Asia, and that many people do not consider this. I was not simply trying to make an abusive statement. It's just that I am a crappy unpersuasive writer and apparently have trouble making what I think is a legitimate point.

Posted by: DaveC | May 12, 2005 11:54 AM

This is a dead thread, for sure, but I call bullsh*t on this. I read the original post, and DaveC, your comment is all about trying to create a FALSE equivalency with that 'prograssives say zionism=racism' flamebait.

And when you've been thoroughly schooled you fall back on 'oh, I'm a bad unpersuasive writer.'

Garbage.

My point was that the post WW2 historical events that led to the division of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh did come at a price, and in the case of Bangladesh it was a heavy price. Not that Gandhi could necessarily foreseen any of that, or that the events necesssarily had to turn out the way they did.

Just out of curiousity, DaveC, but did you miss the whole part where Gandhi was deeply opposed to the division of India? That he fought it to the end? That he was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist who was upset that Gandhi was opposed to the country's being divided?

Saying that Gandhi approved the division of India in any way is a flat-out LIE.

Why are you defending this slanderous lie, anyway?

A dead thread comes to life! Hi there, Mnemosyne and renato!

Allow me to nitpick on another of DaveC's comments...

"I have read opinions here that the problem in the ME was that Jews colonized Israel and were a prime cause of ensuing conflicts, when in fact many Israeli Jews were driven from their ancestral homelands in what are now exclusively, or nearly exclusively, Arab or Muslim states."

First of all, a few comments doesn't mean everyone here thinks the same thing. Another slippery piece of logic there. Second of all, whether for good or ill, Jewish colonization of Israel IS a prime cause of those ensuing conflicts... how is it not?!? Third, that whole ME situation was and is a mess. It's a bit more complicated than just "ancestral lands ours = our land now."

For example, yes, those were ancestral Jewish lands. By the same token, I could say that I'm sitting on ancestral Native American land, and thus all Native Americans should be allowed to take their ancestral lands back, supported by foreign weaponry and economic aid, by force if neccessary.

See the problem with that piece of logic?

Now, on the other hand, I do have issues with the Israeli government, much like I have issues with my own government, and with the Palestinian Authority. These issues are specific and driven by the policies of the Israeli government (group punishment, illegal settlements, nuclear weapons, cutting off of basic utilities, bargaining in bad faith, etc.) They do not simply boil down to "White people in the Middle East are racist."

Now, on the other hand, I do have issues with the Israeli government, much like I have issues with my own government, and with the Palestinian Authority.

Personally, I'd like to line both sides up and slap them "Three Stooges"-style until they come to their senses.

Both sides have done really horrible things. No one is innocent in that fight. I really wish the partisans on both sides would recognize that there are no saints in this situation.

Except possibly Rabin, who was of course (like Gandhi), murdered by someone on his own side.

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