Forum topic: Colonial atrocities in Kenya: another crime to lay at the door of British Imperialism

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Forum topic: Colonial atrocities in Kenya: another crime to lay at the door of British Imperialism
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Colonial atrocities in Kenya: another crime to lay at the door of British Imperialism. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

Oh baboon! What a

Oh baboon! What a hard-hitting no- punches- barred article this is. And you have shattered a belief of mine that the Japanese in the second world war had finally achieved the record for disgusting torture, mutilation and overall human degradation, and would reign unchallenged. How naive of me! But now it seems "the white man" the highly respected colonial administrator, the British dammit, are competing rivals. Who will gain the prize? Is the competition still open? Are there still more unbelievable horrors committed in the name of Imperialism, to be discovered?

And then there's Mr Gove and his love of facts; the accumulation of which, in his eyes, constitutes education! He is the Mr Gradgrind of our own "Hard Times."

"NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!".

How sick the bourgeoisie has always been; how limited in human understanding. "Reasoning animals" is about the limit of their intellectual development; and this is to be unkind to the animals who have never even sought to attain the splendid heights of mutual torture.

Thanks baboon for giving us this insight into bourgeois history.

My quote from Dickens' "Hard

My quote from Dickens' "Hard Times" above shouldn't at all detract from baboon's drawing attention to the way the British - and of course the rest of the world's rulers, who are all at it together - freely and happily make use of torture in securing their own ends. The article referenced by baboon "A short history of British Torture" provides many unsavory details. Then of course there were the Australians and Indonesian army in East Timor; the USA in various parts of the world - they "export" their torture so to speak, to avoid its distasteful occurrence in their own backyard. A nice moral point! - "disappearances" in Chile; brutal repression of workers in Kazakhstan and so on and on. Thinking about it, torture as applied sadism, is only slightly removed from the bourgeoisie's daily application of economic torture in the form for example, of increasingly cruel austerity measures, the generalization of famine in some parts of the world, the constant bombardment of civilians in Syria for no apparent purpose, and tbe undeniable fact that our rulers will stop at nothing to preserve a system of exploitation which benefits them while condemning everyone else to a life increasingly approximating to agony and torture.

Capitalism itself is now the final atrocity. To helll with it! And what is hell but torture.

Didn't Britian invent the

Didn't Britian invent the modern concentration camp during the Boer war?

This article reminds me of something I saw in the tube once. There was an advert for a British bank that proudly proclaimed, "We don't invest in imperialist countries," to which someone had taken a black marker and replied, "This IS an imperalist country!" That made my day!

Britiain and Japan



I agree with Fred: this is a very illuminating article by Baboon. And yes, jk, I'm sure you're right about the British concentration camps during the Boer War.

Regarding Fred's initial belief that "the Japanese in the second world war had finally achieved the record for disgusting torture, mutilation and overall human degradation, and would reign unchallenged."

I wouldn’t feel too bad about once thinking this, and for two reasons:

First, that in common with other major imperialisms which came late to the world market and which felt cheated out of ‘their share’  Japanese imperialism in the 1930s (‘Rape of Nanking’ anybody?) and the 1940s as part of the Axis was indeed ‘up there’ with the worst proponents of racist-driven  savagery.

Secondly, many of us in the post-war West were brought up on a media diet stuffed with the entrails of atrocities committed by ‘the Japanese’ (remember Bridge on the River Kwai? Or Tenko?), the better to hide “our own” misdemeanours.

What’s sobering, in the context of Baboon’s article and the above two points is the widespread use by the eventually-victorious British in 1945/1946 of Japanese officers to brutally maintain the status quo in both Vietnam and what was then the Dutch East Indies (today Indonesia)

“Between September 1945 and November 1946, up to 35,000 surrendered Japanese troops were assimilated into Lord Louis Mountbatten’s South East Asia Command in the Netherlands East Indies. Although under the ultimate control of British officers, the Japanese retained their wartime unit structures, were led by their own officers and remained armed.” (Sleeping with the Enemy: Britain, Japanese Troops and the Netherlands East Indies, 1945–1946, Andrew Roadnight, History (the journal of the Historical Association) Vol 87, issue 268. The story in Vietnam is even more horrendous involving French colonlialists fighting with the Japanese army against Vietnamese nationalists; the use by Britain (under a Labour government) of Japanese troops to subsequently quell the Vietnamese and the use by the French of former Waffen SS officers in the Foreign Legion fighting to keep Vietnam in French hands. But that will have to wait for another day.  Baboon’s given us quite enough to chew on.




Niall Ferguson also says

Niall Ferguson also says Europe is a failure. In the midst of its destruction, its failed experiement in multi-culturalism will boomerang into a full fledged populist backlash against un-integrated immigrants forming the basis for social dislocation, violence and political reaction. Sounds almost like a theory of social decomposition!