Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What The Left Has Not Learned From History

The attempts at painting parallels of imperialism between current day America and the colonial powers of old is a common theme among the Left who continuously apologize for real imperialism conducted under the banner of Marxism and Communism and their poster child Stalin and his ilk.

The latest attempt received wide fawning by the MSM is a book by William Dalrymple entitled The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857. What’s telling about the book is the conspicuous analysis of the revolt in Muslim vs Christian terms and the utter lack of morals displayed by the Left in service to their neurotic belief in modern day American imperialism that see the free market of capitalism as imperialistic.

Briefly, what started as an act of defiance by some Indian soldiers who refused to use rifle bullets said to be greased with beef and pork fat (a rumor never substantiated spread by anti-British agents) quickly became a popular rebellion against the British East India Company that ruled most of India. Muslims consider pork unclean while Hindus view the cow as holy.

Dalrymple uses this historic rebellion as a tool to berate America’s recent foray into Iraq.

It is one thing to conquer a country. It is quite another to stay there and try to force-feed your ideas to a part of the world that has its own traditions.

And what are the ‘traditions’ that needed to be defended. In his article in Time magazine Dalrymple is sparse on his explanation yet what he does say is telling.

What lay behind the uprising? The British, through the East India Company, had been trading in India since the early 17th century. But the commercial relationship changed toward the end of the 18th century as the authority of the Mughal Empire collapsed and a new group of conservatives came into power in London, determined to expand British ascendancy. Lord Wellesley, the British Governor-General from 1798 to 1805, called his new approach the Forward Policy. Wellesley made clear that he was determined to establish British dominance over all European rivals and believed it was better pre-emptively to remove hostile Muslim regimes that presumed to resist the West's growing power.

Notice how he casually throws out the term Muslim without defining what kind hostility or behavior those Muslim regimes represent. He does give a hint of it.

The Forward Policy soon developed an evangelical flavor; the plan was to impose not just British laws and technology on India but also British Christian values. That way India would be not only ruled but redeemed. Local laws that offended Christian sensibilities were abrogated. The burning of widows, for example, was banned.

Umm. Excuse me. Christian sensibilities? That sounds like Christian sensibilities are like being offended by wearing light colors in the winter months. And how about these Christian sensibilities being offended?

On the evening of Sunday 10 May 1857, 150 years ago next week, 300 mutinous sepoys from Meerut rose up against their officers. They shot as many as they could, then rode through the night to the old Mughal capital of Delhi, where there they massacred every Christian man, woman and child…..

And this comment – the most telling of all.

What is striking about so many of the proclamations coming out of the uprising's storm centre, Delhi, was the emphatically religious articulation that the rebels adopted.

A religious articulation. Know what that meant?

British men and women who had converted to Islam - and there were a surprising number of those in Delhi - were not hurt; but Indians who had converted to Christianity were cut down immediately.

Yes. Mr. Dalrymple, you are correct about how little history changes. But you are looking in the wrong direction. It’s Islam that has not changed and what we need to learn from and not the trumped up charges of Leftists that see America as an imperialist.


Anonymous said...

We are looking at the Sepoy Mutiny

The final spark was provided by the controversy over the new Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle. To load the new rifle, the sepoys had to bite the cartridge open. It was believed that the paper cartridges that were standard issue with the rifle were greased with lard (pork fat) which was regarded as unclean by Muslims, or tallow (beef fat), regarded as sacred to Hindus.

East India Company officers first became aware of the impending trouble over the cartridges in January, when they received reports of an altercation between a high-caste sepoy and a low-caste labourer at Dum Dum. The labourer had taunted the sepoy that by biting the cartridge, he had himself lost caste, although at this time the Dum-Dum arsenal had not actually started to produce the new round, nor had a single practice shot fired.

On January 27 Colonel Richard Birch (the Military Secretary) ordered that all cartridges issued from depots were to be free from grease, and that Sepoys could grease them themselves using whatever mixture ‘they may prefer’.

This however, merely caused many Sepoys to be convinced that the rumours were true and that their fears were justified.

Pastorius said...

Why is it that every time Muslims begin to make up a significant portion of the population of a given area, that area then has to be broken up so that the Muslims can have their own homeland? Why is it that Muslims can not live with others?

Why does Pakistan exist? Because we were stupid enough to fall for the idea. And we continue to do so in areas like the Phillipines, where Muslims are now being given areas of the island of Mindanao to govern.

This strategy has never worked out well, and yet we keep making the same mistake over and over.

Anonymous said...

One fact that seems to have escaped most historians is that the arrival of the British in India put a full stop to the expansion of the empire of Islam in the East. Islam had been bent on conquering Asia since 800, as in Africa, they started on the coast and the North.