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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2674

A History Lesson for the "Western Powers"

By Stephen Long - Los Angeles, CA

History is a funny animal. Like a pet dog it can be loved, rubbed, groomed, fed, made to obey, ignored, forgotten, punished, or locked up – depending on the owner’s proclivities and prevailing mood. As long as the animal is fed, it is usually cooperative. In a rare moment, however, it can bite back if provoked or mistreated. I think this might be just one of those moments when the dog takes a nip out of his owner’s hide. Let me explain.

The recent uproar over presumed human rights abuses by the Government of Sri Lanka resulted in the "Western Powers" crying foul in unison. Even without proper investigation, for some strange reason they quickly jumped to condemn the GOSL, which was doing everything it could to protect the lives of the innocent Tamil human shields and bring them to safety in the No Fire Zone.

There has been a lot of tearful feigned sympathy for the rescued IDP’s, but there has also been a huge loss of memory in regards to the "Western Powers" past sins of mass murder, or their looking the other way while thousands suffered and died on their watch.

Let me cite a few examples, and allow me to cry "Foul!" on behalf of the innocent victims.

• Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the "Western Powers" there have been 92,133 to 100,591 documented civilian deaths from violence in Iraq (source: "Iraq Body Count" website). The British medical journal, The Lancet, puts the figure much higher at approximately 654,965.

• Since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by the U.S. there have been 7,760 to 10,557 documented direct deaths of civilians, and 3,200 to 20,000 indirect deaths for a total of direct and indirect at 10,960 to 30,557 (source: Wikipedia). The "Unknown News" website puts this figure at 19,886 including nearly 1,100 foreign troops and journalists who have been killed.

• Going back a ways in history, the Mau Mau insurrection against British rule in Kenya caused the death of 10,173 activists, and an approximate 70,000 Kikuyu tribesmen were imprisoned (source: About.com: African History).

• Going back even farther in history to World War II, there were approximately 140,000 innocent civilians killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the U.S.; 80,000 at Nagasaki; and as many as 500,000 in Dresden when the Allies dropped 700,000 phosphorous bombs on the city – nearly one for every two inhabitants. Approximately 120,000 Japanese residents in the US (66% of them US citizens) were imprisoned in ten interment camps, an act that was declared unconstitutional in 1945, and never apologized for until President Clinton’s era (albeit very weakly).

• Even farther back in history, to the turn of the last century, you’ll find the US suppression of the insurrection in the Philippines killing 200,000 people, with the policy to shoot anyone over ten years old who dared to resist US occupation. Speaking of genocide, what about the killing of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans – even going so far as to make gifts of US Army blankets to the Natives that were laced with smallpox. Nice gifts. Reports of genocidal actions by the "Western Powers" during their empire expansion and colonial periods already fills volumes – including Sri Lanka’s history books. Did anyone call “foul” when they were actually happening?

• A little more recently, Belgium’s legacy when Rwanda was granted independence in 1962, was the death of 800,000 Tutsi’s and Hutu sympathizers from April 6, 1994 and continuing for 100 days – some days killing as many as 10,000. Belgium and the other “Western Powers” did nothing until it was too late.

• How about the genocidal campaigns in Bosnia, Cambodia, Hitler’s Holocaust, and the Japanese Nanking Massacre? Who came to the rescue of the innocent victims – or even cried foul while they were being cruelly and systematically exterminated?

• The statistics of the LTTE’s war to create a racially separate homeland for Tamils are staggering. Over thirty years approximately 100,000 people of all races were killed, and countless more injured or permanently maimed. The LTTE was 100% responsible for this outrage, so who could blame the GOSL for wanting to end it once and for all?

The GOSL rescued nearly 300,000 Tamils being held by Prabhakaran as human shields during the waning days of Eelam IV, and is currently doing its best to care for them with the limited resources it has available. I don’t know why the Government isn’t being applauded for such an accomplishment. I still can’t figure out why the "Western Powers” are crying foul. What exactly is there intention, I’d like to know. Do they really want to see the conflict finished – or is it in their best interest to continue seeing the South Asian region de-stabilized? Is this perhaps why the British Government sold arms to Sri Lanka during Eelam IV, and we’re just now finding out about it? Was it just to make a sale and keep business moving?

It’s almost as if the "Western Powers" can’t bring themselves to acknowledge that a small, far-away island nation, populated by brown-skinned natives, could be successful in ending a thirty-year terrorist scourge when they can’t do the same in their own struggles, wherever they might be. Granted, the brown-skinned natives didn’t acquiesce to the "Western Powers" demands to cease their fire and allow the terrorists to escape. Also granted, the brown-skinned natives are proud of their victorious accomplishment, and of their President who stood firm against the “Western Powers” ridiculous and duplicitous demands.

I say we all stand up and cry "foul" at the "Western Powers" for their historical, un-avenged murders, and at those who simply stood by and allowed the destruction of millions of innocent lives. I think history, like the mistreated dog, will bite the "Western Powers" on their collective posteriors, while it winds up applauding Sri Lanka for its success against the LTTE terrorists, and its compassionate treatment of the survivors that it made sure were spared and re-settled in their homes.

History indeed is like an animal. I don’t think it will be too long before the "Western Powers" are bought to their knees by the dogs they raised, but can no longer control. Their “national karma” may have just "come home to roost" and put them even more at risk than they already are. Perhaps by then history, like a good dog, will be on the side of Sri Lanka and give it the proper accolades it so rightfully deserves.

- Asian Tribune -

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