Conservapedia:World History Lecture Thirteen
World History – Cold War and Independence
Instructor, Andy Schlafly
Outline of Lecture:
|The middle of the 20th century, after World War II, saw many regional conflicts resulting from the Cold War between freedom in the United States and communism and the Soviet Union. Eventually freedom prevailed, but there is much history to be learned about how it prevailed. Also, there were many independence movements in the 20th century, some of which had nothing to do with the global struggle between freedom and communism.||I was hoping to finish these analyses prior to January 2012, so that the foul morass of raw sewage that is Conservapedia would not seep across and pollute my final 354 days before December 22nd, 2012, when the Mayan Reptoid lib'rul-commie-Nazi kitten-eatin' Satanists will come back and destroy us all. But hey-ho. Let's sing a suitably uplifting, jaunty, pseudo-Christian song to keep up our spirits as the imminent destruction of our planet approaches!
"Onward Rational so-o-oldiers! Marching as to war!"
Again, Andy has decided to devote 1/14th of his World History series to a short period of the twentieth century. Here he stretches fifty years of human - noticeably that of NATO and Uncle Sam - history to more than three times the wordcount he assigned to the entire three thousand years of humanity's longest continuous civilisation; the Egyptians. But hey, what's a few millennia between friends? And of course, as we all know, Andy doesn't want to teach his lobotomised troglodytes World history! Most of the world is populated by darkies, lib'rul ferriners, and the Asiatic Hordes; while most of mankind's chronology has been a bloodsoaked warning of what happens when religious freaks start shoving their opinions and beliefs down other peoples' throats. Can't have that, by golly. So instead, nearly 1/3rd (Lectures 10-14) of this "history" course is dedicated to 1/70th (c.1900-1999) of the entire length of recorded human history (c.5000 BC - c.2000 AD). And it's so terribly Western. Why is it that so many Americans are so grossly unaware that there is a world beyond their borders? Probably because, in no small part, to "teachers" like Andrew Schlafly. Ah well...Andy at least mentions how history can teach us. Will the tart advise his students about continuity and change? Long- and short-term causation and effect? Push- and Pull- factors? Hell, even grand metanarratives of Whiggish History? Hmm. I'm not holding my breath. Better to just stick with slagging off the Russians, eh Andy? I also notice that Kenya at least crops up, along with the United Kingdom. I'm rather looking forward to the lengths to which the man will go in order to misrepresent, lie about, and generally shit on my home nations...
|But the news is not all good. America triumphed in many ways in the world, but she has many enemies outside of her borders, and quite a few within. Ask yourself in which direction you think the world is headed: towards a better place, or a worse one?||This first line makes Andy sound like a cartoon new anchor. Maybe Tom Tucker, or Kent Brockman. In reverse. Instead of moving from hard news to cheerfully Segwaying into frivolous human interest stories, Andy's news technique is cock-eyed. He might well ask why America (by which we assume he means the Republican Party and pompous WASPs) has so many enemies. Hmm, could it be anything to do with Fundafascists...? Maybe we were wrong earlier - Andy is indeed introducing metanarratives! (Rubs hands in despair) "Ohh, the world is getting worse!" (Jumps in ADHD glee) "The world is happy happy HAPPY!!!" Not that the world is always getting better or worse, of course. In some ways it gets better, in some ways worse, in some ways it remains at the status quo. For some people it gets better, for some worse. In some places, in some eras... you get the picture. There isn't a single persepctive on something so mind-numbingly complex as the world. But of course, Andy won't accept that. His goons must agree with everything he says. Or else...|
Regional Conflicts during the Cold War
|Americans feared a “domino effect” of communism for good reason. Imagine a row of dominoes, what happens when one falls into another, and then into another, and so on. Each falling domino can knock over the one next to it. Americans starting with President Dwight Eisenhower feared that effect when communism took over a nation: all nearby nations could be the next to fall to that same communism.||Oh now this should be fun. Six-star General, Andrew "Homo-Hammer" Schlafly, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Crap, is going to attempt an explanation of America's only military defeat. Well, barring the War on Terror, which is more a bumbling embarrassment rather than a military defeat. Let me guess - he's going to stretch the truth, deliberately misinterpret, lie through his teeth, and try to claim that the USA's defeat was actually part of some grand conservative strategy, while any ugly historical facts he can't whitewash or explain away will just be blamed on lib'ruls, commie-nazis, and hippies. I'd wager a fair bet that this is exactly what will happen. Let's find out. And to make things more fun, read this out loud to yourself in the manner of Principal Seymour Skinner, in his Vietnam days. Another uptight, mentally unbalanced, socially awkward weirdo.
And Principal Skinner.
Andy very kindly starts this segment by explaining, in remarkable detail, the mechanics of a domino effect. Why? Don't his students know what dominoes are? Well, given the amount of piss pumped into their brains each day by Mister Schlafly, they probably hear the word and automatically reach for a pizza menu. And dominoes are a form of recreation, too - as we saw in the last lecture's snarky remarks on President Truman, Andy frowns upon anything fun. If his students need recreation they're not supposed to play games. Good God, no. They ought to go out and beat up some gays instead. Much more wholesome, all-American, fun - and fun for the whole family! Where were we? Oh right, Andy has decided to use bold font to explain Cold War geopolitics through the metaphor of dominoes. Alright, the domino effect is valid here. But there was a lot, lot more going on. Indeed in just the last lecture, Andy surprised us by actually mentioning Containment. Why can't he bring it up again here?Oh, and it really ought to be pointed out that while NATO did indeed fear the spread of communism, the Soviet bloc feared the equally nefarious spread of capitalism. Just because the Reds lost the Cold War, doesn't give "teachers" carte blanche to completely ignore the role of the other side.
|Southeast Asia has a large population, and after World War II the region was vulnerable to a spread of communism from the Soviet Union and China. An independence movement beginning in the 1930s caused the French to leave, and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist leader who received aid from the communists. The French imposed a death sentence on Ho Chi Minh; however, he fled to avoid this punishment. When he returned in 1941, he founded “Vietminh”, with the name reflecting that he intended to rule as a dictator. Japan interrupted his plan by taking control of the region during World War II, but in 1945 the Vietminh defeated the Japanese. That demonstrated how tough the Vietnamese fighters were, as not even China could beat the Japanese. Ho Chi Minh then declared the independence of a new Democratic Republic of Vietnam, a huge communist country that has 84 million people today.||Oh, we haven't seen this since the discussion of the Age of Exploration! Andy discusses historical patterns by using contemporary statistics. Really Andy, put down your CIA World Factbook. Nobody gives a shit about the population of Vietnam in 2011 when you're meant to be discussing Vietnam in 1960. Points are also lost fo implying that the USSR and the PRC (China) pursued the same form of communism. They didn't. Moscow was the seat of Marxism-Leninism, Beijing was the seat of Maoism. There are subtle yet significant differences in policy and theory. Just because Republicans and Democrats operate within the same system of government, doesn't mean they're the same - likewise, the same applies to communist systems of government.
The French did not leave in the 1930s. This is utter shit. Alright, we all know that Andy - like most right-wing Yanks, it seems - wants to slap Uncle Pierre about a bit. But if he wants to have a dig at les Français, he could have found something else other than making up lies. He could have mentioned how Ho Chi Minh was a pastry chef in Paris at the time of the 1919 Peace Conference, and tried to submit petitions for independence. He could have mentioned the strained geopolitics of southeast Asia, with 1930s French Indochina suffering severe budget cuts from Paris, and its difficult relations with neighbouring British Burma, the Dutch East Indies, independent Thailand, and the growing Empire of Japan. The French had close to no intention to relinquish their hold on a single scrap of the territory of their empire, but after France fell to Germany in 1940, the Vichy government was forced by Berlin to accommodate a Japanese occupying force, initially only in the north and then the south too. De jure French control remained over Indochina until 1945, when the liberation of France by the Allies prompted the Japanese to arrest the officers of the French colonial forces, mere months before the surrender of Japan. Andy is also completely wrong in suggesting the Japanese were defeated by the Vietminh. Ho Chi Minh refused to wage an all-out guerilla struggle against the Japanese, realising they had no chance at victory, but built up their strength slowly to take advantage of Japanese weakness. When Japan surrendered, the Japanese garrison simply went home, leaving the French in captivity - a power vacuum which Ho brilliantly exploited, leaving Vietnam to fall into his hands with virtual no fighting. The Vietnamese showed their mettle against the French, who returned with British and American aid later in 1945, not against the Japanese. Andy then sounds barely literate by making "Vietminh" sound like a city (should have said "he founded the Vietminh"), and claiming that Vietnam was "a huge communist country". Err, no. Compared to China and the USSR - hell, even Moscow's satellite states in Eastern Europe - Vietnam was a little pipsqueak which no-one but the French and the Vietnamese really cared about.Let's also remember that Andy is just generally full of crap; Viet Minh is an abbreviation of Việt Nam Ðộc Lập Ðồng Minh Hội, ("League for the Independence of Vietnam") and has nothing whatsoever to do with Ho Chi Minh's name. This is hardly surprising as he didn't actually found it.
|The French tried unsuccessfully to regain control of Vietnam after World War II. In 1954, the communist Vietnamese nationalists defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu and the French surrendered to Ho Chi Minh. The French then agreed to divide Vietnam at the 17th parallel, as part of the Geneva Conference. North Vietnam would be communist under Ho Chi Minh, while South Vietnam would be free under Ngo Dinh Diem.||The French did indeed send military forces in 1946 to try and retake Vietnam, and although they were able to capture the city of Hai Phong, were unable to conquer anything outside the city. Pro-French Vietnamese were very thin on the ground, and even with massive financial and logistical support from the United States, fearful of communism spreading (failed to mention that, Andy), the French Far East Expeditionary Force became bogged down.
Hence, General Christian de Castries developed a novel strategy. Holding air supremacy, he sent swarms of paratroopers north to establish a base right in the heart of Vietminh territory. Having seized a ring of hills, the French constructed a runway and began flying in troops, armour, and supplies to construct a vast fortress. From the fortress at Dien Bien Phu, de Castries planned, the French could cut Vietminh supply lines and starve the entire organisation of munitions and food. With the Vietminh starved out, the French army could stroll across their old colony once more.
However, the French badly underestimated the strength and adaptability of the Vietnamese. The first "Ho Chi Minh Trail", essentially a long, long path along which Vietnamese and Chinese troops with bicycles ferried weapons and food to field forces, kept Ho CHi Minh's forces better-supplied than the French. Anti-aircraft guns supplied by the USSR and China allowed the Vietminh to shoot down French planes landing at Dien Bien Phu, forcing the French to make fewer supply runs. Constant human-wave assaults against French machine-gun and artillery posts - with horrific casualties for the Vietnamese - corralled the French into a shrinking pocket, and when Vietnamese forces captured the runway, Dien Bien Phu was doomed. On 7th May 1954 the French garrison, deprived of supplies, ammunition, and medicines, and with no hope of evacuation, surrendered. Some 11,700 French prisoners were taken. Less than a third of these were eventually repatriated to France. The rest, well... those who survived the death-marches to prison-camps, the ravaging diseases, the whippings, and the execution squads, disappeared into Vietminh prison camps from which they never returned.Still want to snipe at the French, Andy?
|Ho Chi Minh was popular in both North and South Vietnam, and gave away land to people to boost his popularity. Ngo Dinh Diem was unpopular, and the United States feared that an election in the South might choose Ho Chi Minh’s communists. So elections were postponed, but the conditions worsened. The Vietcong, who were communist guerrillas in the South, formed and began causing problems in the early 1960s. In 1963, South Vietnamese generals who had received support from the United States took over South Vietnam, and assassinated Ngo Dinh Diem.||He didn't "give away land" in order to be popular. Minh redistributed land among the rural peasantry, according to the tenets of Marxist philosophy. At least Andy gets the 1963 coup right.|
|The United States began sending military advisers and weapons to prevent a takeover of the South by the Vietcong. In August 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson faced reelection, there were mysterious gunshots fired at an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin near North Vietnam. It was later disputed whether this was an actual attack on Americans. Johnson, wanting a war to boost his popularity and reelection chances, pushed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution through Congress to authorize sending troops. A formal declaration of war never occurred, but this Resolution served as a substitute. Within a year, thousands of American 19-year-olds were sent to fight the communists in Vietnam.||"Mysterious gunshots". What is this, Scooby Doo? Note Andy's poorly-disguised conspiracy theory that the Democrats (grrr) lied and misrepresented in order to start a ratings-boosting war. Because no Republican president has ever done that...
Andy appears to be getting his information on recruitment from the Paul Hardcastle song. The average age of a draftee was 19, not the stipulated age they had to be. Oh and Andy, remind us who dodged the Vietnam draft. Y'know, the one who joined the National Guard in order to avoid overseas service, and whose daddy pulled strings iun order to get him a cushy job for which he was totally unqualified, while other American boys went to fight and die. Ohh, what was his name...
Ah-ha, I remembered!George W. Bush...
|The Soviet Union, China and North Vietnam responded by sending their own troops and weapons to help the Vietcong. The United States bombed North Vietnam, and also bombed targets in South Vietnam to target Vietcong hideouts. But the Vietcong were hard to find, and knew the jungle much better than the Americans did. The Vietcong planted land mines throughout the country, causing thousands of American soldiers to die or lose their limbs simply by taking a wrong step.||Apparently land mines only targeted American personnel (but not George W. Bush, whose only worry was running out of Martini olives and cocaine), and not Vietnamese civilians and they were only planted by the evulz commies, not the U.S. or their South Vietnamese allies. Oh well, considering how much Andy fears the Yellow Peril, it's not that surprising to see him ignoring the tens of thousands of Vietnamese civilians who were killed, or horribly injured, or lost everything, in the war. Equally, it's depressingly unsurprising to see no mention of napalm, Agent Orange, or My Lai. Ever heard of My Lai, Andy? Do a little research. Go on. Research the events of March 16th, 1968 in the South Vietnam village of "My Lai". It's easy to find. See what happens in those very wars which your religio-Nazi kind applaud. But which, of course, they don't actually fight in. They relax in comfort in their ivory towers while people fight and die in appalling ways, and flick over the newspaper pages with photos of dying children and slaughtered babies, before venturing forth to harangue us on why it is good to go to war. Cunt.|
|The conflict in Vietnam helped President Johnson win reelection in 1964, but by 1968 Americans (particularly Democrats in Johnson's own political party) had tired of the tens of thousands of American deaths. President Johnson did embarrassingly poorly in the first presidential primary (New Hampsire), and had to withdraw from the race for reelection. As with many wars, including the war in Iraq from 2003 to the present, public support for the war starts very high but tends to decline over time.||Ohh, here it is! What did we predict? That Andy would lie, whitewash, and finally blame it all on the Democrats? Well here it is. The United States lost a war, so Andy decides to rewrite history by saying that it was all a heinous lib'rul invasion. So by this logic, if Andrew Schlafly were to time-travel back to the late 1960s, we should expect him to be on the picket lines and in the demonstrations right alongside John Kerry and Jane Fonda, to protest the criminality and abhorrence of the Vietnam War. But does that sound likely? Of course not. Andy is one of those evil wankers who would have been precumming in his pants at the thought of bombing the shit out of the dirty foreigners, before suddenly blaming the Democrats and students (and blacks, and gays, and hippies, and women) once he finally realised just how badly the US was losing. Ah well, at least he didn't claim that, like the Western Front c.1944-1945, and the Korean War, the American military wanted to go ahead and conquer (sorry, "liberate") all of southeast Asia, but were held back by jealous lib'rul presidents in Washington. Apparently...|
|When President Nixon arrived at the White House after the 1968 elections, he embraced “Vietnamization” as a policy for slowly withdrawing American troops from South Vietnam, hoping that the South Vietnamese would do more themselves in fighting communism. Nixon also increased bombing of North Vietnam and Vietcong strongholds in Cambodia and Laos.||Wahey, it's Tricky Dicky!! Cue robot-Nixon's head from Futurama:
"Nixon's BAAAACK!!!"Is Andy in favour of even more intensive chemical- and high explosive- bombing of civilians? When did this man become the new Reichsmarschall?
|Nixon was heavily influenced by his adviser Henry Kissinger. Kissinger’s approach towards Vietnam was to launch bombing attacks and then look like a hero in declaring cease-fires. He did this repeatedly and received much praise by newspapers for it. But the communists would simply re-supply their guerrilla fighters during the cease-fires, and so the cease-fires actually helped the communists continue the war. By 1973, the United States gave up and pulled the last American soldiers out. A million Vietnamese then fled South Vietnam to escape the communists, who took over by 1975. The United States imposed a trade embargo on the newly unified Vietnam that lasted until 1994. President Bush visited Vietnam in 2006.||Ohh, this is novel. Blame the intelligentsia! Alright, Kissinger was a bit dodgy, and in fairness the man does deserve scrutiny and critical evaluation. But it's unfair of Andy to drag only Kissinger out into the defendants' box, while leaving right-wingers completely alone. Why hasn't he mentioned the American soldiers at My Lai? As a summary of the Vietnam War, this is absolutely appalling.
Oh, and a related anecdote (I have a mental cache for these very moments). When my family moved to the UK, my first job in Britain was in a furniture factory. I was curious why there was a whole warehouse of wood from Vietnam which we never, ever used. The manager eventually told me that wood from Vietnam is unusable - as the trees were so riddled with bullets and shrapnel which the wood has then grown over, they couldn't risk putting Vietnamese wood on the power-saws as the bullets deep within had already wrecked several blades.Yeah, Andy. That's true. And if that quantity of munitions can do that to the trees, take a moment to think what it does to living, breathing, people...
|Things worsened further in next-door Cambodia after the Americans left Vietnam. Pol Pot took over Cambodia in 1975, and he abolished private property, money and religion, and converted everything back to an agricultural society. He emptied the cities. His ruthless policies possibly resulted in the death of 1-2 million Cambodians in the late 1970s. The Hollywood movie about his dictatorship, The Killing Fields, exposed his atrocities and perhaps exaggerated them as a way of blaming the United States, which once supported Pol Pot as a counterweight to Vietnam. Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge government fell in 1979 when Vietnam invaded Cambodia after a series of violent border confrontations, and Pol Pot fled to the northern jungle with his forces. He died from illness in 1998. Today there are United Nations peacekeeping forces in Cambodia.||Fan-fucking-tastic. Andy trots out two million corpses in order to whine about socialism, weepingly imply that modern-day American fundafascists are always persecuted, and claim that the lib'rul media likes to pick on Uncle Sam. Go fuck yourself, Andy. Preferably with a pineapple.
Pol Pot, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and leader of the "Khmer Rouge", was indeed a monster from a nightmare. One who made Hitler and even Stalin pale in comparison. Adhering to a twisted tangent of Marxism and the belief that the rural peasants, not the urban proles, were the real working class, Pol Pot's movement waged a war against the Cambodian government and eventually seized the country, and the capital, in 1975. Once in power he immediately began pursuing his warped beliefs. Buddhists, intellectuals, foreign nationals, Muslims, Christians, artists, businesspeople, anyone with any link to the old regime, and even enyone who wore glasses, was purged. And by "purged", we don't mean Hitler's treatment of gas chambers, or Stalin's treatment of a bullet to the back of the skull. We mean they were sent to the living fucking nightmare that was Tuol Sleng Prison, where, after months of torture to sign fake confessions and implicate friends and family, they were taken out to the Killing Fields and executed - not with bullets, but with pickaxes. Which, compared to what they went through in the prison, was a mercy.
In the cities, meanwhile, entire populations were forcibly relocated to agricultural communes and left there to work or starve. Considering that the Cambodian countryside was unable to feed so many, especially as farms had been destroyed or forcibly collectivised during Pol Pot's war against the previous regime, hundreds of thousands starved to death. Pot applauded this. Thank Christ that the Vietnamese invaded and overthrew the Khmer Rouge in 1975 (although, bizzarely and disturbingly, the USA, UK, and United Nations all recognised the Khmer Rouge remnant as the legitimate government of Cambodia), but by then over two million Cambodians had been massacred. Pot, fighting with his remnant in the Cambodian hinterland, finally died in 1998. We can only hope that he died a really, really, really painful death.Oh, and Andy - the 1985 film "The Killing Fields" is British, not Hollywood. If this arsehole can't be bothered to actually give a historical account that isn't partisan propaganda and outright lies, he could at least get the minor details correct.
|In connection with the “Third World” of Latin America, Africa, and many parts of Asia, the Cold War became a battle for influence over the system of government adopted by any and every small country. It seemed like there were only two choices: communist or free (capitalist). Both the United States and Soviet Union would compete with each other to provide to developing nations aid, military advisers, social workers (e.g., the Peace Corps from the United States), educational programs and technology.||So Andy attempts cultural sensitivity, but can't be bothered to use the contemporary term "Non-Aligned Movement". Note, in his footnote (scroll down), his short grocery list of First-World nations. Apparently Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were either communist or Third World, while Poland and Yugoslavia were "highly industrialized capitalistic (sic) societies". Would have been better to just say "the West", Andy. At least he actually acknowledges the Proxy Wars c.1945-1991, which Niall Ferguson aptly terms "The Third World War". And there weren't two choices, between only communism and only capitalism. That's the whole point of the NAM - they didn't want to be drawn into the orbit of either NATO or the USSR, which they saw as equally imperialist and undesirable. The world isn't quite the false dichotomy that Andy - and indeed, most right-wingers - like to pretend.|
|This drama has been playing out in Latin America ever since World War II, and remains an issue even now. In the 1950s, the United States supported Fulgencio Batista as dictator of Cuba, but Fidel Castro overthrew him in 1959. Liberals in the United States promoted Castro as a hero, and he was welcomed to talk at American colleges. But just as conservatives predicted, Castro became a ruthless communist dictator who brutally suppressed all opposition and ended free speech and free enterprise on the island of Cuba. Castro seized private industries, such as the thriving sugar refineries, and predictably the economy collapsed. Cuba fell from being one of the most prosperous nations to one of the poorest. Today most Cubans cannot even afford to own an automobile.||But Andy, back in Lecture Ten you assured us that the Monroe Doctrine had ensured peace and prosperity for all Latin America, under the benevolent aegis of Uncle Sam! What happened to that?
Andy shoots himself in the foot by acknowledging that Batista was a dictator. Isn't that a dirty word, Andy? Doesn't do to tar your allies with that brush. But that's insignificant compared to his snipe at lib'ruls and universities (yes, yes, Andy. We academics love dictators. I, for one, can't wait for Kim Jong-un to annex the Faculty) before insinuating that conservatives have some sort of psychic clairvoyancy (careful, Andy. Remember what it says in Leviticus 19:26 and 20:6) and wheeling out his weird grammar ("the island of Cuba" - why?). Predictably, it all ends with a smug, self-satisfied snipe at modern-day Cuba. It's surprising that Andy didn't claim that Fidel is an advocate of the homosexual agenda, considering the types of businesses found on San Francisco's Castro Street...Also, isn't it kind of weird that the very definition of a horrible lot in life in Andy's world is "can't even afford a car" - well tell that to those godless hippie liberals who move to Portland, Oregon and sell their car
|The United States imposed a trade embargo on Cuba and the Soviet Union provided it with aid, which was a typical pattern in this Cold War between the two superpowers. Cubans who had fled to Florida from the island arranged for an invasion of Cuba in April 1961 to overthrow Castro. President John F. Kennedy withheld support at the last minute and someone in his Administration probably leaked the plans to Castro, who was then waiting for it and slaughtered the invaders at the Bay of Pigs. President Kennedy allowed the United States to be humiliated by this.||Finally, Andy mentions the Cuban Missile Crisis. We covered this in the last class so I'm not going to discuss it again. Instead, take a moment to note Andy's searing assault on Kennedy, whom he suggests deliberately cocked up the Bay of Pigs (an attempt by US-supported Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro, which ended in disaster) in order to humilate his own country. Uh-huh. Also, Andy's use of the word "probability" suggests he has a special insight which we mortals lack. You'd think with this sort of skill he'd be the greatest historian in human history. Well, he thinks he is...|
|Strengthened, Castro became more aggressive and in 1962 began to install Soviet missiles to point them directly at the United States. President Kennedy ordered a blockade of Cuba to prevent installation of additional missiles, and a top American general put his bombers into combat mode. This demonstrated a readiness to go to war (“brinkmanship”) and the Soviet leader Khrushchev then backed down. Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles when the United States agreed not to invade Cuba.||"a top American general". Who, Andy? General Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove? Andy was able to drag up the names of some really obscure USAF squaddies in the previous lecture, but here he can't be arsed to research the name of a bloody general. Lost interest, Andy?|
|But Cuba continued to grow closer to the Soviet Union, which funded its failing economy. In the 1970s Cuba sent 50,000 soldiers to help communism in Angola, and Cuba remained there until 1988. When communism itself fell in the Soviet Union in 1991 and it broke up, Cuba lost its funding. It became even poorer then.||Andy's wording makes it sound like the actual "island of Cuba" was physically transported to Angola...|
|Communism in Latin America was not limited to Cuba. In Nicaragua, communist rebels named the Sandinistas overthrew an American-backed ruler named Anastasio Somoza. The United States then supported the anti-communist Contras in the 1980s. In 1990, the Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega finally agreed to hold free elections in order to end the civil war, and he was defeated by the pro-American Violeta Chamorro. But in 1997 Arnoldo Alemán was elected as the Nicaraguan leader. Although a supposedly rightist, he formed a pact with the Sandinistas against his own Liberal Constitutionalist Party, and near the end of 2006 Daniel Ortega completed a successful comeback by being elected as president based on his claim that he is not a communist anymore. He won with only about 38% of the vote, benefiting from a change in rules that no longer requires at least 45% of the vote to win.||Christ, why the hell would Andy's students care about this ridiculously obscure digression into Nicaraguan electoral procedures? We can only conclude that he is doing this in order to wallpaper over the Iran-Contra Scandal, in which Faux News' own Colonel Oliver North, and The Holy Messiah - Ronald Reagan - Himself, lied to Congress and committed high treason against the United States of America. Look it up, it's most interesting. Alternatively, watch the abridged musical video by our very own Stan Smith of American Dad!|
|The poverty in many countries in Latin America may help explain why communism is more popular there. In Nicaragua, one of the poorest nations in Latin America, 46% of the population lived on less than $386 in income for the entire year of 2001. Not only is a job hard to find, but electricity and drinking water are not always available either.||Ooh, Schlafly Statistics! And strategically deployed in order to laugh sardonically at ferriners! Or is Andy coming out in favour of spending money on social projects and state-sponsored infrastructure? Oh God, please don't become socialist, Andy. We really don't want you on our side.|
|Poverty alone cannot explain the popularity of communism. In oil-rich Venezuela, the people reelected the communist Hugo Chavez in December 2006, and he is exporting communism to other nations there. Young and intimidating, Chavez is described as 'Castro with money.' In April 2009, he and President Barack Obama shook hands with enthusiasm for the cameras.||Ahh, Chavez. Again. This is about the third time he's cropped up. And who cares if he shook hands with Obama? Saint Ronald of Reagan shook hands with that dirty atheist, pro-abortion, gun-controlling, kitten-eating commie, Mikhail Gorbachev. There are photos of it. So by Andy's logic, The Conservassiah is a COMMIE!!!|
Middle East (Southwest Asia)
|The Cold War did not explain every conflict in the 20th century. For example, the Cold War did not explain the conflicts in the Middle East (Southwest Asia), where Islam is the dominant force. The United States helped build oil wells in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries, but the Shiite Muslims disapprove of the American presence.||Having butchered two geopolitical regions, Andy is new free to vomit a stream of putrid bile all over the Middle East. He begins, in true "Classic Andy" style, by whining about how it was Uncle Sam's dollars what built them thar drillun' thangs, but the dirty natives don't not like 'Murricens bein' thar. Ugh. Great start, Mister Schlafly...|
|In 1952, Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew King Farouk of Egypt. Nasser modernized Egypt’s economy and military, seeking to build a nation that could assert its power in the Middle East. In 1956, Nasser seized the Suez Canal from the French and British companies that controlled it. His plan was to nationalize the canal to raise money to build the Aswan Dam, and needed cash after the Americans and British withdrew a pledge to help fund it. Nasser’s seizure of the Suez Canal created the “Suez Crisis” for a week because many nations, including Israel, relied on the Canal for shipping. The British and French provided air support for an invasion by Israeli troops, which easily overcame Egyptian resistance. But then the Soviet Union threatened to intervene on behalf of Egypt, creating a risk of a world war. Nasser was allowed to keep the canal, and international pressure by the United States caused Britain, France and Israel to back off.||Ooh, the Suez Crisis!
Recall the discussion of Egypt back in Lecture Ten. By 1885 Egypt was verging on bankruptcy and, after attempting to nationalise the Suez Canal to raise some cash, the British and French annexed Egypt. Well, de facto, not de jure. In law, Egypt remained a province of the Ottoman Empire under puppet kings whose strings were held by Britain and France. The Egyptians were understandably not entirely happy about this, and the Europeans knew it. So when the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Army, General Nasser, launched a coup d'etat against a deeply unpopular monarch, the British and French quietly backed away. At least, until the Canal cropped up.
Egypt in 1956 was still poverty-stricken and Nasser, as part of the Non-Aligned Movement and therefore not interested in development loans from NATO and the USSR, sought to create jobs, control the Nile's annual flooding, generate electricity, and increase Egypt's gross domestic product, sought to dam the Nile at Aswan. But to build something like that, he needed money. Lots of money. Hence in July 1956 he nationalised the Canal, announcing that the British and French governments' shares in the Suez Canal Company would be sold at market prices, and total control of the Canal passed to the Egyptian state.
The British and French, who relied on the Canal for almost all of their petrol imports, were understandably a little annoyed by this. While diplomacy kept the USA and USSR militarily neutral, the Israelis, British, and French launched a military assault on the Sinai Peninsula in order to forcibly retake the Canal. They were successful, but widespread anti-war protest in Britain and France, along with increasing diplomatic pressure from Washington and Moscow, forced the Anglo-French hand. The Americans cajoled their Middle Eastern allies into joining an oil embargo against Britain and France, asserting that they would not ship oil to British and French ports until they pulled out of Suez. Meanwhile the Israelis grew a little concerned that the Soviets were edging closer and closer towards a military alliance with Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The result was that the Europeans pulled out, tails tucked between their legs, realising that the age of European dominance was truly over.Would have been nice of Andy to mention some of this, instead of falsely claiming that Uncle Sam saved the frigging day...
|In Iran, the United States supported the pro-West Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (“Shah of Iran”) against a revolt in 1953. For 25 years the Shiite Muslim leaders in Iran, also known as “ayatollahs”, opposed the Shah. In 1978, the Shiites revolted and caused the Shah to flee, and in 1979 he sought admission to the United States for medical treatment. The Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini took control of Iran.||Andy doesn't bother to explain just how unpopular the Shah was in his own country, seen as a puppet of the oil-greedy Westerners and selling his nation out to the capitalists. It didn't help that the Shah had only been restored to power in 1953 following a CIA coup. There are sometimes other factors, Andy, than foaming-at-the-mouth clerics.|
|Henry Kissinger, whose friends and business clients probably included supporters of the Shah, persuaded President Jimmy Carter to admit the Shah to the United States to treat his illness. Carter granted the Shah admission, and student Shiites in Iran angrily responded by taking 69 Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. They demanded that the Shah be returned to Iran, but Carter refused. The Shiites did not release their 55 American hostages until Carter was replaced by Ronald Reagan as president on Jan. 20, 1981.||Here's Andy's extra-sensory perception again. Now, he knows who Henry Kissinger was pals with. He then returns to slagging off students and Jimmy "Malaise Forever" Carter while completely ignoring America's April 1980 attempted rescue - Operation Eagle Claw.
Eagle Claw was an absolute farce. FLown in aon a fleet of transport planes, American Special Forces managed to conduct one of the most astonishing cock-ups in military history. First off, their supposedly secret landing strip was in fact right next to a major motorway into Tehran, and to secure the secrecy of their mission the Americans had to hijack and detain a pasing nightbus. The ground had been improperly surveyed, and several planes' landing gear suffered major damage. When an Iranian civilian oil tanker came up the road, the soldiers panicked and fired a rocket at it, which killed the driver and created a vast fire which predictably drew the attention of the Iranian authorities. The commander of the helicopters, which were supposed to fly troops to the Embassy for the rescue, refused to take off as several of the machines were malfunctioning and an unexpected dust storm obscured visibility. In the end the Americans decided to pull out - but as they did, two of the transport planes collided on the ground, resulting in an explosion which killed eight troops. The rescue forces also had to leave their five helicopters behind, which the Iranians captured. The next day, the world news was awash with all this.
Now I wonder why Any didn't mention that...Oh and lest I be accused of "Pulling an Andy" by parading corpses in order to laugh at Uncle Sam, I'm not. I'm simply pointing out something which he has whitewashed in order to sing the praises of His Holiness, Saint Ronald, and deny that Americans, like all other humans, sometimes make mistakes.
|In 1980, the Sunni Iraq leader Saddam Hussein sought to conquer neighboring Iran. Iraq and Iran fought a fierce battle for nearly a decade without a victory by either side.||And no mention of who provided Saddam with the armaments, funding, and diplomatic support for his war. I'll give you one guess.
Did you guess correctly?That's right. Uncle Sam. Oh, and John Bull. Yep. America and Britain were allies of Saddam Hussein. Told you that geopolitics is complex...
|In 1979, Muslims in Afghanistan (in Southwest Asia) revolted against the Soviet-friendly communist government there. The Soviets responded by invading Afghanistan and attempting to suppress the revolution. The United States reacted to this Soviet invasion by boycotting the summer Olympic Games in Moscow and providing arms to the Afghan rebels. The Soviets struggled for a decade in Afghanistan, much as the United States had struggled in Vietnam, and the Soviets eventually withdrew from the country. In many ways, Islam is a more powerful ideology than communism, and in this case Islam did defeat communism in Afghanistan. But just as there are people who are communist (or socialist) Christians, there are also communist (or socialist) Muslims.||It's surprising that Andy skips over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan so quickly. Maybe because, in a war between Commies and Muslims, he's not sure who to support. That would be an amusing question to ask him. But no, instead he simply wanders off onto a bitch about Muslims and Reds, before shooting himself in the foot by claiming that there are communist Christians. There indeed are, Andy. Such as... for example... Jesus' Disciples...|
|Stalin died in 1953, and Nikita Khrushchev replaced him as the dictator over the Soviet Union. Khrushchev was an aggressive leader who had brutally carried out Stalin’s policies while Stalin was alive, but then denounced Stalin as soon as he died and tried to purge all memory of Stalin (“destalinization”). However, Khrushchev was nearly as evil as Stalin was. Khrushchev viciously repressed a freedom movement in Hungary in October 1956. He ordered an invasion with Soviet tanks and arranged for the execution of the Hungarian leader Imre Nagy, who sought to hold free elections. Khrushchev replaced him with a pro-Soviet puppet. Thousands of Hungarian “freedom fighters” were slaughtered by the Soviets, and the Hungarian religious leader Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty (a high-ranking clergyman in the Catholic Church) fled to the United States embassy to survive. The communist dictatorship installed by the Soviets prevented him from stepping foot outside of the embassy building for the next 15 years. Imagine never once leaving your home for 15 years!||Khrushchev didn't try to "purge all memory of Stalin". In his Secret Speech to the Communist Party Congress in May 1956, Khrushchev denounced Stalin's brutal policies and the Cult of ersonality surrounding him. According to Khrushchev biographer William Taubman (it's on my bedside table now!), the Romanian Ambassador had a fatal heart attack while listening to it. To people who had been taught to revere Stalin as almost a god, the Secret Speech was pretty jaw-dropping stuff.
Khrushchev was a rather good man, but following Stalin, anyone would have seemed good. But he did genuinely try to reform the USSR - focuing on job creation, consumer goods production, political prisoner reprieves, political reforms, and a thaw in relations with the West. But, as Andy acknowledges, Khrushchev also oppressed the USSR's satellite states.Oh, and as for Andy's mirthful jab at being housebound for 15 years, that's not actually unusual for right-wing lunatics. KenDoll hasn't left his basement since the Reagan administration, while Jack Chick has been under self-administered house arrest since the Paleolithic Era. Sensible, really. After all, the big bad Outside is nothing more than a hellscape of necrophiliac homosexual cannibals burning Christians atop piles of Bibles while savagely devouring kittens...
|Khrushchev also ordered the building of the Berlin Wall and the placement of missiles in Cuba, which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis. But Khrushchev’s confrontational personality was too much even for his fellow communists, as he would often interrupt speeches by others and act in other unpredictable ways. Khrushchev could not get along with China, even though both were communist countries. In 1960, Khrushchev stopped sharing atomic bomb secrets with China, and later there was even a little violence along their long border.||"Khrushchev’s confrontational personality was too much even for his fellow communists". Pfft. Khrushchev was ousted due to internal hostility over backing down during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and his poor handling of the re-frosting (is that a word? It is now!) of relations with the West. The Sino-Soviet Split of 1960 was more to do with philosophical disagreements between Marxism-Leninism and Maoism, not Khrushchev's personality. Ah well, at least Andy didn't mention Khrushchev banging his shoe on the desk at the UN. Which, sadly, he never actually did.|
|While Khrushchev was on vacation in 1964 a group led by Leonid Brezhnev arranged to strip him of power. The group persuaded the Politburo, which governed the Communist Party, to replace Khrushchev with Brezhnev. Khrushchev then lived out the remainder of life under the watch of the Soviet KGB, but he did manage to smuggle out his memoirs for publication in the West. Brezhnev ruled as brutally as Khrushchev had, though with less personal confrontation. When Czechoslovakian leader Alexander Dubcek allowed greater freedom of speech in his country in 1968, the Soviets responded by invading with tanks just as they had in Hungary over a decade earlier.||Ahh, Brezhnev. The last "Iron Man" of the USSR. Considering that he ruled the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982, during which the Union slid from global superpower to a crumbling regime fighting a losing battle against inflation, economic stagnation, the débâcle in Afghanistan, and the beginning of the "Second Cold War" when we came close to pressing the Big Button, you'd think he might get a bit more mention than this...|
|President Nixon sought to take advantage of the icy relationship between the Soviet Union and China, and also to open up China to American businessmen. Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai began to end China’s isolation from the rest of the world by inviting a U.S. table tennis team to tour China in 1971. President Nixon then stunned the world and his conservative supporters, who opposed communism, by supporting membership in the United Nations for Communist China (the “People’s Republic of China”).||Ooh, is Andy criticising Tricky Dicky? Time again for Nixon's head-in-a-jar: "Attention Hippies! Put down your crack pipes and beer bongs, as I sign this historic treaty of friendship!"|
|In 1972, President Nixon became the first American president to travel to Communist China. By 1979, there were diplomatic relations between the United States and China. Also in 1972, Nixon traveled to the Soviet Union and signed an arms agreement with the Soviet Union to reduce the numbers of nuclear weapons. This agreement was “SALT I,” representing the “Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty.” These apparently friendly dealings between the arch-enemies United States and the Soviet Union were described with the French word of “détente” (relaxation in tension between nations). For centuries French was the language of diplomacy in Europe and its vocabulary offered the best terms.||Ohhhh, Andy, Andy, Andy (Shakes head in disappointment). What is all this? Using a French word? What happened to e-Murikkan InGerlisch being the greatest language in human history, with an unparalleled ability to coin new conservative words at an exponential rate? And what happened to French being at the bottom of Conservapedia's "Most Conservative Languages" list in 2011? (which, sadly, has disappeared down the Memory Hole). And aren't the French dirty foreign lib'ruls? Tsk tsk. If the Republican commissars hear of this, they'll send you on a lovely little holiday to Guantanamo Bay...|
|SALT I limited the United States and Soviet Union to their 1972 levels of intercontinental ballistic missiles. In 1975, the two nations signed another arms reduction agreement known as the Helsinki Accords, and this was joined by 35 other nations. The American presidency had changed from Nixon to Ford by 1975, but in practice the Administration was still being run by Henry Kissinger and his view of world government and relations. Conservatives criticized both treaties as merely hurting the United States, noting that there was no way to enforce the treaty against the Soviet Union.||So American conservatives bitched about nuclear arms reductions. How unsurprising. Stupid lib'ruls. Don't they realise that Uncle Sam needs more bombs?! America only has enough nukes to obliterate human civilisation ten times over - that just isn't enough!! Note Andy's claim that Kissinger had by this point become some sort of Machiavellian power behinf the throne, whispering in the King's ear, and his complete whitewashing of Watergate. Aww.|
|President Jimmy Carter continued the trend by signing SALT II in 1979, which would have provided for further reductions. In a victory for conservatives, the U.S. Senate refused to ratify that treaty. At one point, President Carter told the American people that his 12-year-old daughter was upset about the growing problem of nuclear proliferation, by which many other nations such as India and Pakistan acquired atomic bombs.||Wow, what a victory for conservatives - not signing a treaty which reduced the likelehood of two tribes going to war. Because, as the song reminds us, a point is all that you can score. And how callous of Jimmy Carter to invoke children. How dare a world leader remind people that he is a human being, and doesn't want to see his little girl evaporated under the mushroom clouds. Downright evil, in fact.|
|In November 1980, the first modern conservative was elected president of the United States: Ronald Reagan. President Reagan cut taxes, defeated communism, and had the most original and influential idea of any president in all of American history: the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), or “Star Wars.” This was a plan to use advantaged technology to intercept and destroy, in mid-air, fast-moving missiles that might be launched against the United States.||Oh for fuck's sake, Andy. This just isn't fair. I decided, for the New Year, to try a new look. So just today I went and got my hair shorn and scalp shaved into a lovely, sexy, hyper-macho mohawk. It looks bloody fantastic. But now, before I get the chance to show it off in the nightclubs or use it to intimidate my hungover Monday-morning students, I'm going to end up tearing it out in frustration at the sheer shit which Andy is shovelling onto the internet. Thanks, Andy. There's my twenty quid up in smoke... As for Andy's semen-stained Hymn to Saint Ronald, well, it's got problems. Andy has spent twelve Lectures wittering on about historical conservatives, and now in one fell swoop he claims that there weren't any conservatives before The Conservassiah. Or at least, no modern conservative - and he doesn't bother to provide a definition of what, in his piss-brained little mind, seperates premodern from modern conservatism. As for cutting taxes, well, we all know what we think of tax cuts (coupled with tax breaks for rich bastards), and claiming that he defeated communism is frankly laughable. Finally, Andy claims that no President has had as original an idea as SDI. Well, this could be true. It was certainly an outlandish idea. Probably got the idea during an all-night cocaine-and-hookers piss-up with Dubya's daddy. Oh, and 1980s technology wasn't up to the task. So it's all a moot point.|
|Reagan’s critics ridiculed SDI as impossible and dangerous. But those criticisms were somewhat contradictory with each other; it was precisely because SDI might be possible that it was so beneficial. The Soviet Union, then led by Mikhail Gorbachev, panicked. Gorbachev met with Reagan at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1986 in which Gorbachev promised almost anything if Reagan would agree to drop SDI. The media pressure was intense for Reagan to agree. But Reagan stood up for America. He shook his head and he said “no deal.” The next year Reagan made a trip to the Berlin Wall, against the recommendation of his advisers, and declared to the world, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Sure enough, two years later the Germans did exactly that, and tore down the Berlin Wall built by the communists. Although Reagan and Gorbachev did sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987, which banned missiles with ranges of 300 to 3,400 miles, the historic decision was Reagan’s refusal to sign a treaty at Reykjavik giving up SDI. Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union would soon be vanquished.||And Reagan's critics were right. And why would the Reds panic over such a stupid idea? Gorbachev had far more distressing sundries on his plate than Reagan's little brain-fart. The USSR was falling apart economically and politically, the satellite states were breaking away, and it was obvious to the Kremlin - if not to outsiders, even other Soviets - that the Union's days were numbered. But hey, none of this matters or even seems to occur to Old Andy, who instead wanders off onto bitching about the lib'rul media, sniping at Reagan's acolytes, and furnishing uncited and unnecessarily detailed minutae. Why? Considering that this preening pillock doesn't seem to even be aware of the Non-ALigned Movement and the Second Cold War, providing such trivial details for Saint Ronald is utterly unwarranted. Glancing ahead at the next section's content, I have a sinking feeling that my poor mohawk is going to have a very short life...|
|Reagan’s life included many personal failures. He was a struggling Hollywood actor, who spent some time running the union of actors, or The Actors Guild. He was in charge of the Guild when the communists attempted, with some success, to infiltrate Hollywood. Reagan resisted this infiltration, and the communists threatened him and attempted to intimidate him. He would receive frightening phone calls in the middle of the night. For the rest of his life, Reagan devoted his time to defending freedom for all and opposing communism. As governor of California, he surprised scientists by personally visiting the Lawrence Livermore Lab, which was and is a premier military research center. When Reagan became president, he gave a speech on national television in 1983 to announce his plan for America to build a new missile defense system to shoot down any nuclear attack.||UPDATE
I was glancing through the revision history of this Lecture on Conservapedia itself, and noticed that on 4th December 2011, Andy deleted this paragraph. Undoubtedly because it criticises The Conservassiah. And it's a criticism which Andy himself originally wrote. Strange of him to criticise his deity - perhaps Andy panicked and deleted the criticism lest it be discovered by the Republican Party's Thought Police. As my sexy mohawk has managed to survive this far (to my utmost delight and my professor's great displeasure), I think I can risk picking apart Andy's claims.
Reagan's life indeed included failures. Not because he was a particularly terrible man, but because he was human - and every human who has ever been born, and ever will be born, makes mistakes. It's part of who we are. As for him being a "struggling actor", that seems a strange claim for Andy to make. According to that fould morass of lib'rulizzm, Wikipedia, old Ronnie had a handsome filmography and positive critical reviews - particularly after his acclaimed performance in the 1942 film King's Row (I know, I know. I feel dirty too, for defending him. But let's be fair. Plus, it's another avenue down which to peer into Andy's warped mind). From a subjective and perhaps unfair assessment of The Gipper's stage career, Andy then trundles out his favourite pantomime antagonists - the Reds - and shifts gear in order to suddenly portray Ronnie as a stalwart guardian of Hollywood - that den of lib'rul iniquity - against the commies. Odd. I particularly enjoyed the claim that Ronnie "received frightening phone calls in the middle of the night". Wonder how many of them were heavy-breathing phone calls from people like Andy who rang up the middle of the night, just as they were about to reach masturbatory climax. Penultimately, Andy gives us a pointless factoid about a visit which His Holiness made to a physics laboratory, where God Almighty undoubtedly hobnobbed with filthy lie-entists who use the Theory of Relativity to push the homosexual agenda in physics classes. And finally, Andy implies that Reagan became President in 1983. It was actually 1981.Well, that was a fun little trip down the rabbit-hole. And one which could explain Andy's increasingly odd behaviour and self-delusional fantasies. He might have gone mad from guilt, or from the paranoia that this deleted gem would be discovered; or it might all be a consequence of whatever was done to him in Newt Gingrich's Ministry of Love.
Independence Movements in the 20th Century
|For most of the population in the world, the history of the 20th century can be summed up in one word: Independence. That is true for India (about 1 billion people), Indonesia (215 million), much of Africa (890 million), Israel, and Eastern Europe. China (1 billion) and Latin America (523 million) already had independence before the 20th century, but had important nationalistic movements during the 20th century.||Ooh. It's the return of "Mister Schlafly's Patented Sop to the Non-White World!"™ Thi'll be fun. Although I'm curious why Israel is in here - from whom exactly did Israel gain independence?|
|Both Hindus and Muslims sought independence in South Asia, which now consists of India and the surrounding countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Afghanistan. Many of those countries did not exist at the time of World War II. The “Indian subcontinent” today consists primarily of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.||Apparently Sikhs don't exist. Oh, and the nations of Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and British India indeed existed at the time of the War. They'd been there since the bloody Middle Ages. Only Bangladesh and Pakistan (and Sri Lanka, which Andy seems to have overlooked) didn't yet exist.|
|The Hindu group pushing for independence was the Congress Party, while the Muslim League was the pro-independence Islamic group led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In 1946 the Great Calcutta Killing occurred, which was a riot between Hindus and Muslims resulting in 6,000 deaths.||Note how Andy has researched the leader of the Muslim League, but not the Congress Party. Why? Well at least he isn't gloating over the corpses of Muslim women and children. Yet...|
|On both sides of India, East and West, were regions dominated by Islam. In 1947, they achieved independence as East and West Pakistan based on a partition by the British House of Commons. Religious conflict continued. Gandhi went to Delhi in January 1948 to urge fair treatment for Muslims, and was then assassinated by a Hindu.||Why is there no mention of the Indian National Congress, the trans-Indian independence movement?
Recall Lectures Ten and Eleven. While it was by no means a constant or universal policy, one of the goals of the British Empire was to mould the rest of the world along European lines, eventually allowing them to govern themselves. Empire was not meant to be eternal. And neither was the British Empire in India a carefully-planned phenomenon; it was hotchpotch and rather chaotic, made up by bureacrats in London and generals on the ground, as they went along. While Indians as a whole (if there's any such vast category) actually welcomed the British in the early 1800s as a convenient replacement to the rotting Mughal Empire and a better alternative than civil wars, by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, calls for independence were much more vocal. But the British, unsurprisingly, were reluctant to let go of the Jewel in the Imperial Crown.
So briefly recall Ghandi's role back in Lecture Eleven. By appealing to the entire population rather than religious or ethnic factions, Ghandi spearheaded a vast independence movement. But the apparatus of the movement - the nuts and bolts of Indian independence - was provided by the Indian National Congress. When, in August 1947, a United Kingdom teetering on bankruptcy and finally realising that the pomp-and-circumstance days of Empire were over, passed the Indian Independence Act, a depressingly common phenomenon of history occured. With the absence of a common enemy, old rivalries re-emerged between allied factions. In this case, between Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians (Christianity is a huge religion in India - odd of Andy not to mention it); and most notably between those who desired a single nation and those who, fearing Hindu dominance, demanded seperate nations.
The resulting violence in India in late 1947 led to a still-uncalculated death toll with a low estimate in the hundreds of thousands, and an upper estimate of a million. Ghandi, now less important as leader of a fractured movement, was on the side of the single-nation faction. But the Indian Independence Act specified different nations in the wake of the British. The British, uneasy about leaving behind a single, vast country which could fall under the sway of the Soviets, instead left behind a patchwork of states to act as checks and balances. Ghandi lost popularity among both Muslims and Hindus for arguing against seperate states, while his pressuring to emancipate the lowest caste of Hindu society - the Untouchables - made him a lot of Hindu enemies. In January 1948, while en route to prayers, he was indeed assassinated by a Hindu extremist over the emancipation issue and his public insistence that the Muslims and Hindus should remain as one country.Great work on the historical context there, Mensaab Schlafly.
|India received its independence from Great Britain on August 15, 1947, and instantly became the world’s most populous democracy. Jawaharial Nehru was its first prime minister. He began the long process of modernization and sought to de-emphasize the caste system. Two years later, in 1949, a war broke out between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and this dispute continues today - even though China seized part of Kashmir in 1962. Both India and Pakistan joined the British Commonwealth as Dominion members and adopted English as their official languages. India sought assistance from the Soviet Union, while Pakistan aligned with the United States.||The Kashmir Conflict is indeed a tragedy. Thousands have died there since the late 1940s and the conflict shows no sign of being resolved. Believe me - as a cartographer, I end up looking into all of these grim legacies of Victorian diplomacy. Andy's claim that India gravitated towards the Soviets is actually correct, even though India was officially part of the Non-Aligned Movement; while Pakistan did indeed ally with the United States. See; the man can do research. When he can be bothered.|
|Nehru ruled India for nearly two decades, and his daughter Indira Gandhi became prime minister upon his death. Her rule saw an increase in agricultural production known as the “green revolution,” but she attempted to limit population growth with strict birth control. She also suspended parts of the democratic process. The people responded by defeating her in 1977, and she left office. In 1980, she regained power, but violence was breaking out with Sikhs who wanted an independent state. She ordered an attack on a Sikh temple, and two of her bodyguards retaliated by assassinating her in June 1984.||Oh, birth control. We were wondering when this otherwise politically-neutral account would wander off into Tea Party propaganda. Well at least Andy didn't claim that those who live by the sword, die by the sword...|
|Rajiv Gandhi succeeded his mother as the leader of India. He lost power in 1989 based on accusations of corruption. A group of Tamil terrorists from Sri Lanka killed him with a bomb in 1991. Sri Lanka is the pear-shaped island off of the southern coast of India, which obtained its independence in 1948. Sri Lanka has a Buddhist majority, and the Tamils are a Hindu minority there who have been fighting for their own independence. Rajiv Gandhi had sent troops into Sri Lanka under a 1983 agreement to disarm the rebellious Hindus, which was unsuccessful.||Again, this reads like a paragraph which Andy has stolen from one of his students. It's badly written, marks a significant shift in tone from the previous section (he didn't treat us to physical geography before this), and changes topic repeatedly with no apparent reason. It's mostly accurate, but odd. Oh, and the Lecture we are dissecting hre is Andy's alteration from late 2011 - but he seems to be unaware that the Tamils have been defeated by the Sri Lankan state. Wasn't that on Faux News, Andy? Considering that it didn't involve abortion clinics or Mary-Sue from Stenchburg, Alabama, needing prayers to help her recover from a brutal beating at the hands of black gay immigrant lib'rul atheists... probably not.|
|Shifting over to the history of the eastern portion of Pakistan, Indian-backed forces overthrew the government of East Pakistan in 1971 and established the new country of Bangladesh. The eastern and western parts of Pakistan had different ethnicities and languages and were separated by over a thousand miles, unable to remain united despite both parts being Muslim.||"Shifting over to the history of"? Is Andy now a newsreader for the BBC World Service, circa 1920? Again, Andy seems to think that Islam is a force more powerful than nationalism. It's not, Andy. Just because right-wing Westerners look upon Islam as a foaming-at-the-mouth hate-faith, in reality Islam is about as significant as Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, or whatever religion you want. It's not as strong as national and ethnic identity.|
|West Pakistan then became Pakistan. In 1999, General Pervez Musharraf seized power by overthrowing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Before him, Benazir Bhutto was a remarkable woman prime minister for this Muslim country. Pakistan is one of the few Islamic nations possessing the atomic bomb, which it developed in the 21st century, much to the consternation of the rest of the world.||Hey, Andy waves the flag for Benazir Bhutto! What happened to his "chivalrous" opinion that women should be mindless, silent slaves? And why didn't he mention that she too was assassinated? It'd fit in with his running theme of "can't trust Southern Asians; they'll kill you soon as look at you". Oh, and as for Pakistan's nuclear arsenal being a threat to the rest of the world - has Andy already forgotten his own bloody aforementioned acknowledgement that Pakistan is a close ally of the United States? Oh, right, I forgot. Alliances mean jack-shit in comparison to Republican scaremongering on European secularism, the Yellow Peril, and IZZZLAMISTS!!!
I knew my mohawk wouldn't last long...
|When India and Pakistan sought and obtained independence from the British, other British and Dutch colonies in Asia attained similar independence. In Southeast Asia, Burma gained independence in 1948, and chose not to be a member of the British Commonwealth. It then suffered from some internal conflicts between communists and military dictators. In 1989, Burma renamed itself Myanmar.||"some internal conflicts". By this, we presume that Andy means the 1948-1962 period in which a six-way war was fought in Burma between the Chinese Kuomintang, Chinese warlords, and no less than four seperate and mutually-exclusive communist factions. By 1962 the conflict had ended, and Burma gravitated towards the Soviet bloc, until a military coup d'etat in 1988 (not 1989, as Andy claims), established a military dictatorshp which endures to this day. But apparently all that is irrelevant, and the only artefact of modern Burmese history that is worth knowing, is a name change. Nice work, Andy. Also, where's Korea here? The March 1st Movement deserves a mention. By the way, do you even know anything about Korean history at all except for the Korean War? You're starting to insult me through your refusal to speak about Korea..|
|Ethnic conflict hurt British efforts to create a single nation of Malaysia after World War II. Large groups of Chinese and Malay peoples fought each other in Southeast Asia. In 1957, a Federation of Malaya brought together Singapore, Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah. But in 1965, Singapore left the federation to become a separate nation composed of only one successful city. Today Singapore is one of the few city-states in the world, and is very prosperous. After Singapore split off, the other three regions (Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah) formed the Federation of Malaysia.||The "Malayan Emergency" of 1948-1960 was a major event in postwar international politics, and not simply because it was one of the very rare occasions in which the British tried to cling on to their crumbling Empire rather than letting it go.
Malaysia, which had been controlled by the British Empire prior to the Second World War, had been occupied and plundered by the Empire of Japan from 1941-45. When the British returned and pushed the Japanese out, they inherited an economically and socially devastated country, and like in many areas, found themselves fighting the same local nationalists who had banded together to fight the Japanese. Yet while politicians in London were well aware that the Empire was on its way out, they clung onto Malaya because its rubber, oil, and mineral industries were crucial to Britain's post-war economic recovery. So, British crackdowns on Malayan protests were brutal and only made the situation worse. By 1948 a hotchpotch of nationalist and communist factions - many of whom had actually been trained and armed by the British to fight the Japanese - had banded together and began a guerilla war against the British. The British responded with military force, and hence the Malayan Emergency began (interestingly, the British never classified it as a war, because use of the word "war" would invalidate the insurance policies on government-owned rubber plantations and tin mines).
The British Army, unable to fight guerillas, employed similar tactics to those of the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. Seeking to cut off the guerillas from their popular support, the British rounded up hundreds of thousands of Malayan and Chinese citizens and relocated them to custom-made villages, which were essentially prisons. Simultaneously, the British went to great extremes to appear more humane than the guerillas. While captured Britons never came back, capturd guerillas were treated very well and a great many actually changed sides, preferring decent treatment under the British to harsh treatment under the opposing factions. This also appealed to large swathes of the civilian population - while the British kept them fed and protected, the guerillas plundered and pillaged villages for supplies and information. This came to a head when, in 1955, the guerillas killed the British High Commissioner - an act which pushed many otherwise neutral civilians onto the British side, for fear that if the High Commissioner himself was not safe, then they themselves certainly were not.
With popular support fading away and many of their fighters surrendering or changing side, the guerillas increasingly found themselves at a disadvantage. When the British offered an amnesty in 1955, most guerillas gave up the fight and although a few hardliners and fanatics fought on until 1960, the Emergency was essentially over.
Oh, and in the spirit of fairness, it must be pointed out that the British were not all decent people. The Batang Kali massacre of 1948, was one of those dark and abhorrent chapters which, like the history of all peoples, stains British history. War, as Andy should by now be aware, isn't pretty.And had the man done his research, he might have discovered that the phrase "hearts and minds", so intensively referenced by Dubya's maniacs, was coined during the Malayan Emergency. Also, on the note of Singapore, it's curious that Singaporean law prohibits dropping litter or chewing gum in the street (with heavy - and enforced - penalties), and it is technically illegal to be naked in your own home. Some irrelevant factoids there for our li'l lawyer Andy. And a reminder for him to do his bloody homework.
|Indonesia had been a Dutch colony until the Japanese conquered it early in World War II. After the war, Sukarno led a successful rebellion against the Dutch and established the independence of Indonesia in 1949. But Sukarno was unable to establish a democracy, perhaps because Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.||I was about to criticise Andy for not providing a first name for Sukarno - but it turns out Javanese people often only have one name to start with. So I was wrong. See, Andy? That's called self-criticism. Acknowledging and admitting errors. Give it a try sometime.
The Indonesian National Revolution was born out of the fierce anti-Japanese resistance forces - as in Burma, those who had fought to throw out the Japanese then turned round and threw out the equally unwanted, equally imperialist Europeans. Independence was declared in August 1945 (not 1948, as Andy claims), and due to the inability of war-ravaged Holland to act immediately, the United Nations (fearing communist and/or cryptofascist control of Indonesia) placed Indonesia under the control of the least likely candidate - the Japanese. In 1946 an Anglo-Indian-Dutch-Australian force arrived to re-establish Dutch hegemony but, despite some minor victories against the new Indonesian Republic (weakened by an attempted communist revolution and a major Islamic rebellion in favour of a Muslim theocracy), found themselves diplomatically isolated.
What is interesting to note is that it was the United States of America which pushed the Dutch towards the negotiations table. For some reason, Andy doesn't want to mention that. Neither does he want to mention that immediately before the Revolution, his hero Douglas MacArthur had been relieved of his post as Supreme Allied Commander, South-East Asia, and that office transferred to the British Admiral Lord Mountbatten. Had Andy actually bothered to open a history book, he could have had a bloody field day talking about how MacArthur would have saved the world. Again.Sukarno wasn't unable to establish democracy. He didn't want to. Sukarno had always wanted to be an autocrat, and believed that it was necessary for the fledgling Indonesian Republic to be guided by one benevolent ruler as it matured towards the stage whereby it would be ready for democracy. Blaming the Muslims, as Andy does, it just stupid. After all, Sukarno himself was Muslim.
|In 1965 there was a coup (rebellion) attempt in Indonesia, and General Suharto brutally suppressed it, killing perhaps a million people including many communists. In this striking battle between Islam and communism, Islam won. In 1967, Suharto appointed himself president and created a police state. He persecuted the Chinese and Christians, and in 1976 he seized East Timor and annexed it to Indonesia.||Great, now we're back to Andy whining about how Christians are always persecuted. What is this, the Roman Colosseum?
The "Transition to the New Order" of 1965 was mostly the result of Sukarno's economic and foreign policies. Although part of the Non-Aligned Movement, Indonesia under Sukarno was close to China and the Soviet Union, as the West was still, for them, tainted with colonialism. This policy of courting favour from the Reds didn't go down too well among Indonesia's military elite. Similarly, Sukarno's economic policies had been a failure, with hyperinflation, severe food shortages, and government bankruptcy. A war against Malaysia had only made things worse, and acted as a catalyst for a palace coup. Unsurprisingly, Andy does not mention which faction the Americans (and British) supported. Yep, you guessed correctly - the right-wing militarists.
On 30th September 1965, the military made its move. Left-leaning generals were kidnapped and executed, with the rightists claiming that they were acting to foil a CIA coup. The next day, key buildings and facilities in Jakarta and major cities were seized. President Sukarno made General Suharto supreme commander of the army, and Suharto began a purge of suspected communists, anti-nationalists, students, intellectuals, liberals, foreigners (mostly Chinese), and others who Andy and his ilk would like to see wiped from the face of the Earth. Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people were executed in 1965 and 1966 before political maneuvering which forced Sukarno to resign in favour of Suharto, who then implemented the "New Order". Indonesia became a fiercely nationalist, semi-fascist state. And the US of A (and all NATO), as might be guessed, smiled. Indeed the CIA eagerly provided Suharto with money, training, weapons, and torture technicians. Lovely, eh?Thanks for mentioning that, Andy.
|In addition to the British and Dutch, the United States also granted independence to its Asian colony: the Philippines (on July 4, 1946). The United States kept military bases on the Philippines under 99-year leases, but later gave up those leases under criticism of being imperialistic. The U.S. left her bases there in 1991.||Wow, Andy is able to mention the United States' own imperial retreat without screaming about lib'ruls. Impressive!|
|The Philippines has a history of communist insurgency, and President Ferdinand Marcos suppressed the communists during his rule from 1966 to 1986. For ten years during that period he even imposed martial law. But when Benigno Aquino, a political opponent of Marcos, was immediately assassinated upon his return to the country from the United States, American newspapers blamed Marcos for the killing and demanded his resignation. He would not resign; however, Aquino’s widow Corazon Aquino defeated Marcos in the election of 1986. Time magazine named her 'Woman of the Year,' and Marcos fled to Hawaii, where he eventually died.||And to make up for the above, Andy now trots out his classic meme of "Uncle Sam to the Rescue!"™ He might have noted that Ferdinand Marcos was an utter tyrant, and a rather bumbling one at that. His regime was massively corrupt, with government jobs filled by relatives and toadies, and Marcos himself embezzling literally billions of dollars from his own people. His human rights record was abominable, with false imprisonment, show trials, and torture rampant under his regime. And who gave all of this their blessing? You guessed it. Good ol' Uncle Sam...|
|Five European powers – Great Britain, Belgium, France, Portugal, and the Netherlands – had divided Africa into colonies during the Imperialism Era. Their divisions showed no regard for ethnic groups and local culture. Europeans created huge farms that could be more profitable for the mother country, such as cash-crop plantations. When it came time for the Europeans to leave, the African economy lacked self-sufficiency.||Oh God. Andy is about to discuss Africa. Ordinarily this would be rather pleasing, but given his track record, we should be very, very apprehensive about what is to come. Sigh. Where did I put that schnapps from Christmas... We get off to a good start with Andy ignoring Spanish and Italian colonies in Africa, along with independent Ethiopia and Liberia, and the semi-independent Union of South Africa. But in a surprising twist, he demonstrates sensitivity by acknolwedging that colonial borders were entirely arbitrary lines which the Europeans drew on a map in Berlin in 1885, which utterly failed to take into account local conditions. He then accurately references colonial economies' reliance on cash-cropping and exports, and then performs a hat-trick by acknowledging that imperial retreat left behind colonies whose economies were far from self-sufficient. Hey, Andy, this is impressive! My mohawk might make it to Lecture Fourteen after all!|
|There was a middle class in Africa. Many Africans were educated in the Western world, and they led a pro-African or pan-African movement called “Negritude”. This built pride in African culture and accomplishments.||Oh. No it won't.
There is no such thing as "an African culture". It's like saying that there is one European culture, or one Asian culture, or hell, one Earth culture. As a black man I racially obligated to be all in favour of this, but as an African I see it as false. I'm a Kenyan, and the "culture" (whatever that actually means) that I was raised in is as different to, say, the Zimbabweans or the Senegalese or the Madagascans, as a Portugese is to a Finn, or a Japanese to a Sri Lankan, or an Eskimo to a Navajo. There are some similarities, but what is most noticeable is the vast gulfs of difference and diversity. Andy could have thought of this.
But, to play Devil's Advocate and defend Andy (which turns my stomach), this construction of a false African/pan-African/pan-black identity has been going on for the better part of a century, and rather vocally, and one could be forgiven for thinking thatthere really is a single "African" identity. Well, maybe we could forgive Joe Public, but not a self-proclaimed "teacher" who thinks he is more omniscient than his own deity...
It's unclear whether Andy is trying to be decent and has made a genuine error, or has just done a half-arsed job. No prizes for guessing which one my money's on. While the word was coined in the 1930s, "Négritude" was a philosophical movement born of the late nineteenth century during Empire's Zenith, not the bloody mid-twentieth during imperial retreat. And as might be guessed by the word, it was born in France, not Africa. Andy then seems to confuse it with Pan-Africanism - although there were foretastes of this in négritude, it was not until decades later that Pan-Africanism emerged as a mainstream school of thought.
Andy might also have expanded on the philosophical legacies of négritude. He certainly didn't hesitate to do so with "Darwinism" or "Evolutionism", but seemingly can't be bothered with it. Well in a nutshell, negritude marks the start of the powerful - but false - appropriation of an "African" culture for political purposes. Black people in the New World did indeed seek an identity contrasted against that of the dominant whites (not that there is any single "white" culture, either), which is quite understandable, but the consequent "African-ness" which developed under French négritude formed the roots of a false consciousness in which non-African blacks just picked and chose elements from extremely disparate African cultures in order to construct a false identity. But even if we, peering backwards from our comfortable armchairs, see it as a false construction of identity, we can understand why black people in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries sought a group consciousness.So not only has Andy got it wrong, he has failed to mention what is arguably the most critical aspect of this. Négritude was not a uniquely African movement, but an Atlantic movement that united many black philosophers from Africa, Europe and the Americas in an attempt to use an imagined and constructed "African identity" as a basis for political and cultural liberation. So, "Négritude" was a mostly non-African phenomenon, as it focused on outside perceptions (outside geographically and chronologically) of what "African" is, rather than the reality. So what the hell is it doing in a section on Africa? Just because it's something to do with us darkies, Massa Andy...?
British Colonies – Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana
|Great Britain had three large African colonies: Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. Nigeria was most populous colony in Africa and one of the most prosperous, and it won its independence in 1960. But its ethnic diversity led to civil war between the Muslim Hausa-Fulani and the Christian Igbo and Yoruba. There was tension even within the Christian groups, as Igbo preferred a democratic society while the Yoruba preferred a monarchy.||Apparently, in contrast to the lies in lib'rul history books (and Andy's own Lectures), Britain only had three colonies. So who controlled Egypt, Sudan, Rhodesia, Somaliland, Uganda, Bechuanaland, Nyasaland, Namibia, Gambia, Basutoland, Sierra Leone, Togo, Swaziland, and the Cameroons? Oh, and Kenya wasn't a colony; it and Tanzania formed British East Africa. Similarly, it wasn't called "Ghana" until after independence. Maybe Andy can't be arsed to look at an old map. Or even a modern globe. Unsurprising, seeing as they show such horrors as (gulp) the non-American world... Oh, and they contradict the Bible.
So, Andy launches straight into Nigeria - and gets it wrong. Nigeria was not the most populous colony in Africa. The most populous region of Africa has always been, and still is, Egypt; and in the colonial period Nigeria was third after Egypt and the Union of South Africa. Nigeria, which had been gradually absorbed by the British Empire following the collapse of the Oyo in the 1830s, was partly run by the Crown, partly by the Royal Niger Company, partly by the Church, and partly by local monarchs who, as in India, acted as puppet rulers. Increasing nationalism in the early twentieth century was spearheaded by the Nigerian clergy and handful of literati, who were influenced by black American philosophies and theories of national self-determination following the end of the First World War. A variety of movements and societies - namely the Northern Peoples' Council, the Northern Elements Progressive Union, and the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons - began pressuring for independence, which accelerated following Nigeria's military involvement in both world wars. The British granted these bodies to submit candidates for local elections, and by the early 1950s the NPC, NEPU, and NCNC had formed into recognisable political parties. When immense oil deposits (strange of Andy not to mention oil) were discovered and tapped, pressure for independence - and control of the oil - intensified. Britain, knowing that Empire was over and also seeing an opportunity to morph an independent and vulnerable Nigeria into a cheap and far more placid dependant than an expensive and potentially rebellious colony, granted independence to Nigeria in 1960..
So, to Andy's version of conflict. The idea that conflict in Africa is dominated by ethnicity is absolute bullshit. As I have been arguing throughout, ethnicity is largely constructed over time - when conflict is caused by ethnicity, it's because of what people believe, rather than what actuually exists. And in the case of the Fulani-Igbo-Yoruba conflicts in early independent Nigeria, ethnicity was not a key factor. Instead, control of the coastal oil deposits, and representation in the new parliament, were infinitely more important. Even religious divisions between Christianity, Islam, and Animism, was a peripheral concern. Indeed it is arguable that Nigeria's current ethnicities are largely the product of the last fifty years. What started out as regional identity (northern or southern) came to be associated with religion (Islam or Christian) and parliamentary representation (dominant and peripheral), and thereby with vague ethnicities (Hausa and Igbo/Yoruba/Oyo) which have solidified and cemented in the last half-century.
See, Andy could have discussed this stuff. But perhaps it's just too much for his little brain to process. The idea of a world perpetually divided into false dichotomies of two mutually-exclusive and homogenous groups - Fundies and Atheists, West and the Rest, good and evil - is seductive and appealing. And it works for people like him; people who have a naive and childlike attitude towards the world. But for we grown-ups, who are capable of acknowledging that there is more to human existence than black and white and are able to identify and assess the infinite shades of grey in between (unlike Andy - see his answer to Q.7), such an approach is pathetic.Rather like him.
|Oil was discovered in Nigeria and it joined OPEC. But the Muslim Hausa-Fulani seized power in 1983 and ruled for 16 years, discriminating against the Christians. In 1999, a civilian government was reestablished pursuant to a new constitution.||Oh right, Andy. Blame the Muslims. And weep about Christians. By "the Muslim Hausa-Fulani seized power in 1983", Andy means that there was a military coup d'etat against the civilian government - a depressingly common phenomenon in Africa - under General Muhammadu Buhari, who just happened to be Muslim. And for the record, Buhari may have been a bastard, but he did not discriminate against Christians any more than he discriminated against Muslims. The motives behind his coup were multifarious, as they always are, but what is noticeable is that it was a political event intended to divert sovereign authority to the autocratic military, and not a religious phenomenon. Indeed some of the strongest opposition to Buhari's government came from the Islamic north of Nigeria, as his military government deprived them of their democratic majorities in the civilian parliament. Again, we are obliged to remind Andy that there are other forces going oon in politics besides religion... Anyway, why is Andy constantly whining about apparent oppression of non-American Christians? As we all know, Republican Jeezus doesn't give a shiny shite about ferriners. Especially darkies. Why the hell should Andy care?|
|A Kenyan nationalist Jomo Kenyatta, who had been educated in Britain, joined a secret organization known as Mau Mau. Its purpose was to drive the British out and establish independence in 1963. The United States, fearing infiltration by communists, sided with Britain in opposing this. Kenyatta established Nairobi as a business center in East Africa. Daniel arap Moi succeeded Kenyatta upon his death in 1978. Ethnic strife and protests for greater democracy plagued Kenya at the end of the 20th century.||Hooray!!! Kenya!!! All rise for the National Anthem!! Altogether, now:
Ilete baraka kwetu
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi
Natukae kwa Undugu
Amani na uhuru
Raha tupate na ustawi!"
Fan-fucking-tastic. Excuse me for a moment while I nip out to the Army Surplus store and buy a steel helmet. I'm no longer concerned about my mohawk - my fear now is that if Andy contiues like this much longer, I'll end up ripping out chunks of my own skull...
So, starting Kenya by discussing the Mau-Mau. Brilliant. No mention whatsoever of context. But, we're used to that by now. I won't bore you by leaping onto my hobby-horse of homeland history, but a some context is needed. British East Africa - an amalgam of contemporary Kenya, Uganda, and parts of Tanzania - became increasingly settled in the late nineteenth century by European farmers who set up immense cash-crop plantations. This was particularly prevalent in the highlands, where my native Kikuyu already lived. The Kikuyu worked as itinerant labourers at first, but when the colonial authorities imposed a hut tax - a tax on property which had to be paid in British coin - the Kikuyu increasingly became a fixed proletariat shunted onto Native Reservations (composed of the worst land which the whites didn't want) alienated from their own land and labour, forced to work as poverty-stricken labourers on the white farms to earn the coins they needed to pay the hut tax (Andy could have had fun whining about taxes!). And it needs to be mentioned that the Kikuyu labourers were treated basically as slaves - punishments, whippings, and even executions were common, which the colonial regime usually turned a blind eye to. As the rural economy became fixed around white farms and a black working class, the Kikuyu and other peoples - but mostly Kikuyu - were left with nothing, prompting a mass migration to the new cities in search of work. The cities also attracted large numbers of Indian immigrants who, discriminated against by the British, in turn discriminated against the Kikuyu. The result was a rapid and squalid urbanisation alongside the discriminatory agrarian economy, and consequently, a lot of pressure for reform. Foremost among these, arguably, was the Kikuyu Central Association (KCA), which, along with the later Kenya African Union (KAU) maintained political pressure on the British colonists throughout the 1920s-1940s.
Britain responded, in 1947, by granting extra seats on the colonial Legislative Council to officials of the KAU and KCA. However, these officials were not elected by their movements, but were picked by the Governor-General, and were little more than a token sop. This was not enough, and coupled with a chronic economic depression which hit the desperately poor Kikuyu hardest, and severe food shortages in 1952, prompted the beginnings of what we have come to term Mau-Mau.
So, Mau-Mau. Andy, unsurprisingly, portrays it as a terrorist organisation (with, apparently, a very precise timetable). Well, it was. But we have to understand why. The Kikuyu were treated like utter shit. Not by the Legislative Council in far-off Mombasa, who had little say in the hinterland - but by the white farmers. Again, not all the white farmers were bastards. But some were. And I mean evil bastards. When barn-burnings began, the white farmers took matters into their own hands. Rather than obey the colonial government, they formed their own vigilante groups which kidnapped local Kikuyus, took them back to their fortified farmhouses, and tortured the poor sods until they gave names. Unsurprisingly, all this did was whip up hatred against the whites, and the Mau-Mau movement emerged ("Mau-Mau" itself has conflicting origins - it may have been an anagram of Uma Uma [Gikuyu for "Get Out! Get Out!"], or an acronym of Mzungu Aende Ulaya! Mwafrika Apate Uhuru! - "Make the Foreigner go Home! Give the African his Freedom!" - or these may just be folk etymologies for a random codename given under torture). Burnings of white farms, assassinations of white settlers and pro-British Kenyans, and frequently, animistic warnings left on white doorsteps. These were the first signs. Many white farmers fled but the nastiest shits simply fortified their farms further, and wheeled out the medieval instruments of torture to try and crush the rebellion before it grew any larger. By the summer of 1952, a guerilla movement had formed in the forests around Mount Kenya, and the British government declared a State of Emergency.
The Rebellion lasted for eight years, during which the British tried to crush the insurgents with military force and corralling civilians into concentration camps; the Mau-Mau by attacking British and Kenyan soldiers, police, and civilians in guerilla raids. Both sides, it must be said, used torture and committed atrocities against each other and the civilian population caught in between. By the time the British security services finally defeated Mau-Mau in 1960, some 200 British and allied African security personnel and soldiers had been killed, some 1,800 civilians had died, and over ten thousand insurgents or suspects were killed - many of these twelve thousand, as noted above, often died after severe torture by the security services, white farmers, or Mau-Mau.
But let's not forget that Mau-Mau was not simply the Kenyans - or even the Kikuyu - against the white settlers. It was as much a conflict between Kikuyu, between Kenyans more broadly, and between the settlers and their government. A bizarre little anecdote illustrates this. A couple of years ago, I went with my (white) half-cousin to one of his family members' weddings. At the reception afterwards I got chatting to his great-uncle, who, it turned out, had served in the insurgency with the British military. My grandfather had also been a combatant during Mau-Mau. It could have been an ugly situation over the coffee and canapés, until I told him that my grandfather served with the Kikuyu Home Guard alongside the British; and he told me that he was court-martialled and discharged after arresting one of the white farmers in the Kikuyu Highlands and... well, how shall we put it... administering a bit of "corrective treatment" upon discovering what the farmer had been doing with captured Kikuyu. So my black ancestor supported the whites, his white ancestor supported the blacks. Mau-Mau was a very, very ugly affair, with all factions having blood on their hands.
Oh well. At least he didn't mention Obama.
|The British Colony of the Gold Coast (Ghana) was the first of all these to achieve independence. Kwame Nkrumah was helped by the communists and by his education in the United States. He spent money on improving roads and education and health care, but the economy failed as a result. He was also a leader establishing the Pan-African Congress in 1945 with the help of Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey. The goal of this organization, along with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) (founded in 1963), was to establish an Africa ruled by Africans. But in 1966, the Ghana military revolted against Nkrumah while he was away in China, presumably on a mission to obtain more communist aid. Power has frequently changed hands in Ghana ever since, and at two points (1979 and 1981) a Ghana Air Force pilot named Jerry Rawlings served as president.||Ooh, Ghana! I lived in Ghana when I was seventeen. I was a fireman there. Responded to a grand total of four fires - one of which was a tree. Anyway, let's see what Andy has to say about Africa's first independent nation...
"the Gold Coast". It was called "Gold Coast"; no definite article. The name changed to "Ghana" upon independence in 1957, as a deliberate invocation of the medieval Ghana Kingdom in an effort to distance themselves from colonialism. Andy then takes a swipe at Kwame Nkrumah, accusing him of being a crypto-commie while simultaneously bitching about his Ivy League education. And why is Andy discussing Ghana last, considering that it was the first African colony (aside from the Union of South Africa - technically a Dominion rather than a colony) to gain independence? Shouldn't it have come first in this section?
Officially annexed by the Empire in 1896, following the 1874 Battle of Bekwai in which the powerful Ashanti army was cut down by artillery shells and repeating rifles, and a further three wars between the Ashanti and the British, Gold Coast had always been a turbulent colony. The Ashanti in particular, who had been the dominant political and military force in the region prior to the British, did not at all care for submission. Indeed they frequently rebelled and had some victories, until finally crushed in 1901. As was the case in many colonies, increasing economic discrimination, coupled with a complete lack of native representation in colonial politics, led to growing opposition against the colonists and demands for reform and/or independence. The United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and the Convention Peoples' Party (CPP) in particular spearheaded this movement, and as Gold Coast experienced a drastic economic downturn in the late 1940s, riots in major cities broke out. These were forcefully crushed by the British army, heightening opposition to the colonial regime. As was the case in Kenya a decade later, the British granted token seats on the colonial Council to carefully-picked Ghanaian puppets. The emergence of the National Liberation Council - with immense popularity in Ashanti Region - fuelled further demands for reform. When the British Governor-General called an election in 1954 to see just how much support there was for independence, the result was a landslide victory for the CPP, which took over two-thirds of the seats on the colonial Council. The British saw the writing on the wall. Under the careful eye of the United Nations, the bankrupt and unpopular British set in place procedures for handing over power. On 6th March 1957, at a ceremony in Accra, the Governor-General saluted as the Union Jack was lowered, folded up, and the British marched away; while Kwame Nkrumah ascended to the podium as the first Prime Minister and President of Africa's first independent nation.So here's where Andy begins his hatchet-job on Nkrumah. He, unsurprisingly, gravitated towards the Soviet Union, as the West was still tainted with the legacy of colonialism. Officially he was part of the Non-Aligned Movement, and embarked on a world tour of both capitalist and communist countries. His social reform and economic policies were a great success, as he took development loans from both NATO and the USSR. However, rapid and unequal investment in infrastructure and industrialisation, particularly the Akosombo Dam - coupled with money sunk into the Pan-African project, which never got off the ground - led to domestic opposition. Mainly about high taxes (see what you're missing, Andy?). Nkrumah was indeed overthrown while in China on a state visit, not while currying favour with the Reds. Andy's clairvoyanccy has, unsurprisingly, failed him yet again. No mention, also, of the fact that the CIA had a hand in replacing Nkrumah with a right-wing military dictatorship. And again, there it ends. Bravo, Andy. Bravo.
French colony – Algeria
|France had many small colonies in Africa, including Morocco and Tunisia, to which France granted independence in 1956. But France’s primary colony was Algeria, a Muslim country in North Africa. Instead of granting it independence, France offered citizenship to all the Algerians, which explains why the Muslim population in France is larger than in other European countries today.||What's this shit? "France had many small colonies in Africa"?? France annexed half the bloody continent! Mauritania, Senegal, Albreda, Mali, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Upper Volta, Dahomey, half of Togo, Gabon, part of Cameroun, Upper Congo, Oubangi-Chari, Chad, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Madagascar, Djibouti, and the Comoros Islands - all these were run from offices in downtown Paris. Apparently, though, they're not important. Remember to tell that to the next Francophonic African you meet. Unless, of course, they're Algerian - in which case tell them that they're a dirty ferriner fucking up France.
Doesn't Andy hate France anyway? Why is he now concerned about French customs and immigration issues? Or is he just having a snipe at Les Enfants de la Patrie? And the French incorporated Algeria as an actual département rather than a colony - thus making it officially as much a part of metropolitan France as the Jura or the Gironde or Normandie - for a variety of reasons. Oh, and I've just noticed - in the first sentence Andy actually gives a date for independence, then in the next sentence claims that there was never any independence. Brilliant, Andy. Just brilliant. But we can forgive him that oversight. After all, he's far too busy wanking himself into a frothing-mouthed coma over Rick Sanatorium's latest gay-bashing election broadcast to actually bother proofreading a paragraph on Ay-rabs, Frenchies, and darkies.Fuckwit.
|The Algerians wanted independence despite the presence of thousands of French citizens in Algeria. In 1945, there was a bloody demonstration for independence, and in 1954 the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) demanded full independence. The French responded by sending troops to suppress the FLN.||Oh GOD...
France occupied Algeria in 1830 during a domestic political crisis. Foreign affairs, as we all know, are a great way for governments to distract us proles from just how bad the nobheads in State actually are. Over the course of the nineteenth century, a distinct and unique class structure emerged in French Algeria, formed from the descendents of white settlers (the colons) at the top, and a vast Muslim and Jewish population beneath them. As Algeria was a unique case, native Algerians were entitled to apply for full French citizenship and thereby gain a lot of financial and legal goodies - but in order to do so they had to renounce many tenets of their Islamic or Jewish faith. Very few chose to do this, leading to Muslims and Jews collaborating to establish their own society and underground infrastructure (metaphorically, not geographically) largely independent of the white colons. Algerians provided soldiers and supplies for France in the two world wars, and in the early twentieth century Algeria's elite began to makde the same nascent demands for independence as literati across the colonised world. But the French, having been badly bloodied in the First World War and conquered in the Second, were, by 1945 in no mood to let their oldest and richest colony go. Protests and rallies for Algerian independence were brutally crushed by the French Army and the Front Algérie Française, a loyalist paramilitary movement with significant elements of what we today would term "white power". The Sétif Massacre of May 1945, in which the colons and army killed over 6,000 Algerian protestors, was one of the darker instances (in fairness, as we've highlighted atrocities committed by the Americans in Vietnam and the British in Burma, let's do the French in Algeria). In 1947 the French government sought to ease the situation by extending full French citizenship to all Algerians, without the requirement to abandon their faith, but as was the case across Africa, it was too little, too late. Tensions continued to rise as resistance became more organised, until in November 1954, the popular Front Liberation National (FLN) began the uprising.Throughout 1954-58, a bloody and brutal guerilla war was waged throughout Algeria. While the countryside as mostly held by the FLN and other rebels, the cities and coast were held by the French and colons. Yet the FLN was able to conduct a mass terrorism campaing, with constant bombings, assassinations, and shootings (see what Andy's missing). The French response - beinning in the so-called "Battle of Algiers" - was to use extrajudicial torture against FLN captives and suspected sympathisers. The FLN, predictable, responded in kind. Rivalries and enmity became outright hatred, and with the FLN unable to crush the colons and the colons unable to crush the FLN, a bloody and barbaric stalemate ensued. Until May 1958.
|In 1958, Charles de Gaulle successfully returned to power in France, after having led France during World War II. He feared an Algerian rebellion, and favored granting independence to it and others. France officially granted Algeria independence in 1962, and Ahmed Ben Bella became its first prime minister. In 1965, Ben Bella was deposed (overthrown). A fully Islamic government took control in 1985 due in part to a drop in the price of oil, which caused a crisis in the Algerian economy.||Would have been nice had Andy actually said how de Gaulle came to power...
The French Fourth Republic, established following the Nazi defeat in 1945, had always been shaky. The government's half-hearted attitude to the vicious war in Algeria was taken by many colons and French army officers to be a sign of weakness, and in early 1958 many feared that the government was on the verge of pulling out of Algeria altogether. This was not acceptable to the colons, and in May 1958, the French Army in Algeria launched an offensive - not against the Algerians, but against France itself.
In Algiers, General Maurice Challe declared a military government, and within days paratroopers of the French Algerian Army seized Corsica. This created mass panic in Paris, particularly as, a few days later, Challe and his military government presented the government with an ultimatum. Either the Fourth Republic would dissolve itself in favour of the presidency transferring to General Charles de Gaulle, France's conservative war hero, or the French army would invade France. In Paris the government tred to rally national defence, even calling for civilians to blockade airport runways with their cars so the French Air Force couldn't land transport planes But the Paris government had no power. Nearly all of France's armed forces were in Algeria, and Paris was unsure which regiments - if any - were still loyal to the government. The Senate passed a Vote of Confidence in de Gaulle, and he was proclaimed President of the new Fifth Republic - mere hours before the Army was set to begin its invasion.
De Gaulle, a wily politician, tried to find an alternative force in Algeria to the psychotically right-wing colons and viciously nationalist FLN, while simultaneously being deliberately vague towards all factions. As his new Fifth Republic required its constitution to be voted on by all French citizens (including, since 1947, all Algerians), a referendum was held in war-torn Algeria on the new constitutuion, in February 1959. The result was overwhelmingly in favour - and part of the constitution was the Algeria would gain some independence.
However, by early 1959 the French Army was in control of most of Algeria and was winning the war. The colons and military leaders, knowing that the UN and international community were pressuring de Gaulle to end the war, feared he was about to betray them just like the previous government. Colons attempted a revolution in Algiers against de Gaulle, while the army stood by to wait and see what de Gaulle would do. In Paris, he called upon the Army to remain loyal to France. While the soldiers had been quick to rebel against the previous government, de Gaulle was a war hero and hugely popular among the army. They remained loyal to him. The colon uprising was quashed, its ringleaders arrested with politically unreliable generals, and the French Army finally began the process of withdrawing from Algeria. Under the Evian Accords, a war-weary France finally - after a last attempted commanders' coup in Algiers in 1961, which lacked support - granted Algerian independence in 1962.
The Algerian War was a turning-point in modern French, North African, African, European, and global international politics. And it was a stark reminder, like Germany in the 1930s, of just how fragile modern democracy is. Otherwise placid, pleasant, civilised people - cattle farmers, bank tellers, travel agents, bus drivers - had no compunctions about planting bombs, shooting ther neighbours, and peeling peoples' skin away with red-hot pliers. Remember that there is a primal savagery lurking somewhere deep down within us, which is barely kept at bay by the modern liberal democracies we must defend against people like Andrew Schlafly. Almost a quarter of a million people died in Algeria between 1954 and 1962, perhaps a million more injured, and neary 1.5 million French, Franco-Algerian, Muslim, and Jewish refugees fleeing to France. At least, those that could. The ones left behind were picked off, lynched, or simply tortured to death.
But Andy can't be bothered with any of that.
Belgium colony - Congo
|Belgium held the Congo as an African colony for mining copper and producing rubber. When Belgium granted Congo its independence in 1960 and Patrice Lumumba was sworn in its its first prime minister, the young nation was unprepared. Moise Tshombe, a leader of southeast region that had the copper mines, announced its separate independence. Tshombe was backed by Belgians interested in the copper, while Lumumba was supported by the communist Soviet Union. Joseph Mobutu, with sympathy from the West, then overthrew Lumumba, who was then murdered. Tshombe ruled for a short period until he, too, was overthrown by Mobutu.||Andrew "Standards of English Language are Declining" Schlafly evidently can't tell a noun from an adjective. Congo was a Belgian colony, not a Belgium colony. Wanker.
As always, a little context is required. Belgium annexed the Kingdom of Kongo in 1885. Local forces were unable to effectively respond, largely due to the feudal nature of government - rather like the Oyo Empire further north. When the Belgians came in, they had the blessing of various European factions, for different reasons. The British didn't want France muscling in on Central Africa; the Germans didn't want either France or Britain getting their grubby hands on the Kingdom; France - in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War - was in the middle of a colonial political crisis and was uninterested; and nobody cared about Portugal's claim to the area. So everyone cheered when the Belgian Army turned the Kongo into a personal, corporate vassal not of the Government of Belgium, but a corporate possession of the King - Leopold II.
Leopold's rule was barbaric in the extreme. Imagine the Roman Empire, transposed to the modern era. The fucking bastard clapped as his troops conducted genocide on a scale not seen since the Crusades, and not again until the gas chambers of the 1940s. As a major producer of rubber - one of the up-and-coming commodities of the early automobile age - Kongo was ripe for pillaging by the bastards. The British Consul, Roger Casement, recorded truly horrific death tolls during one rubber-collecting expedition in 1903. When the first census was conducted in 1924 it was unclear how many had died. Casement estimated some ten million. Ten Million. TEN FUCKING MILLION. That's the same death toll as the First World War.
Go read Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness". I may sing the praises of a One World Government - shit, even praise Cicero's Imperium - over nation-states, but what the Belgians did in Kongo makes the fucking Holocaust pale in comparison. That's not Empire. It's a crime against humanity itself.
And no-one has heard of it.
Alright, Roger Casement had difficulties quantifying the death toll due to Belgian colonialism; but that is simply testimony to how Christ-awful the situation was. Whole towns had been wiped out and nobody knew how many had died. European governments, in glib fairness to them, were horrified by the atrocities going on in the Belgian Kongo. And for white Europeans to scream in outrage about what was happening to us darkies, you just know that what was going on in Kongo had to be a fucking nightmare. In response to increasingly vitriolic European demands for human rights, Leopold II of Belgium transferred rule of the Kongo to the Belgian parliament in 1908. Under the Belgian parliament, Kongo was administered better - I'll be fair, they at least tried to be decent - but Belgian resources were woefully insufficient for any sort of development in Kongo. Instead, the Belgians just kept plundering the area - particularly after the German conquests of Belgium in 1914 and 1940 left Belgium, in 1919 and 1945, in desperate economic circumstances.
Now, I'm not out in order to demonise the Belgians. Nobody alive today is responsible for what happened a hundred years ago - and in the case of Belgium, the ordinary man on the street in Brussels or Ghent or Antwerp had sweet sod-all influence on what went on way over in Kinshasa (I refuse to call it Leopoldville) and its vast, vast environs.
So now it's 1960. Belgium, having endured Imperial and Nazi occupation, is desperate for Kongo's resources but, in the spirit of the times and lacking funds, is unable to hold its gargantuan African possession. As was the case across Africa, the literate elite formed political movements pressuring for independence. Foremost among these were the Asssociation des Bakongo (ABAKO), Liboke lya Bangala, and Fédékaléo. In addition, a major source of political agitation came from the Cercles - associations of Kongolese alumni from the overwhelmingly Christian-dominated education system (strange of Andy not to mention this. Oh right - he didn't open a fucking book). Patrice Lumumba rapidly became a figurehead in ABAKO, and in 1958 unified factions (but by no means all groups) - of the three major political parties and the Cercles, founding La Mouvement National Congolais (MNC).
In the meantime, Belgium was under intense pressure from NATO and the USSR to make good on its promises at the United Nations to end colonialism. But of all the African colonies, Belgian Kongo was far and away the least ready to stand on its own. In 1959 there were only nine - nine - Congolese in the entire country with university degrees. And there were no Congolese soldiers above the rank of Sergeant. Unlike British and French colonies, which were at least vaguely ready; Congo in 1959 was almost indistinguishable from Congo in 1889. ABAKO grew in power until, by 1959, Belgian authorities had virtually no power outside of Kinshasa. Riots in the city in January 1959 caused the Belgians to respond with force, which drew strong opposition from Uncle Sam and Mister Khrushchev, in addition to prompting widespread anti-European violence across the country. In a sop to buy time, the Belgians released Lumumba - who had been arrested for inciting riots - but this merely intensified violent demands for reform and independence in a country which was more akin to a medieval fiefdom, than a twentieth-century nation. Belgium saw the writing on the wall, held an election in May 1960, and in the aftermath the Belgians scuttled away with their tails between their legs.
A couple of factoids are worth telling - maybe for Andy's sake. In a unique move, the actual monarch came to hand over power - something which the British and French couldn't be arsed to do. But when King Baudouin of Belgium stepped off the plane on June 30th, 1960, it was a disaster. Someone stole his sword and hat, and danced around with them on TV cameras. At the podium with Patrice Lumumba, the King made a stammering, nervous speech in which he praised his great uncle Leopold II - tantamount to going to Israel today, and making a public speech about how Uncle Adolf was a thoroughly nice chap. In response, Patrice Lumumba - who was not even allowed to give a speech - deftly maneouvred himself to the microphone and spoke those immortal words:
This wasn't terribly appealing to the de facto Viceroy of Katanga Province - Moise Tshombe - who declared independence in July 1960. Backed up by Belgian and Western industrial and mineral companies, and the Belgian Army, Tshombe claimed he was "seceding from Chaos". Lumumba's government, not prepared to give up the extremely rich deposits of copper, manganese, and uranium (yes, uranium) in the region - which they could sell for a shitload to both NATO and the USSR - fought back. The United Nations sent peacekeepers, but encouraged by Tshombe, other regional leaders followed suit and declared independence. By September 1960, Congo had descended into a multi-faction civil war, with the USSR and NATO (busy with the Berlin Crisis) sending armaments and munitions to various factions but unwilling to intervene for fear of triggering a superpower war; and the tiny UN forces desperately trying - and failing - to stop people from being nailed to trees, boiled in molten iron, and skinned alive. Lumumba was sacked as Prime Minister by the Congolese President, Joseph Kasa-Vubu. Yet days later, on September 16th 1960, the Chief of Staff of the Congolese Army - Joseph Mobutu - launced a coup d'etat under the pretext of solving the crisis, and declared himself ruler of Congo. In an attempt to restore civilian government, Lumumba escaped from house arrest, but was captured by Moise Tshombe's troops. The poor bugger was tortured for a week by Tshombe's men - with approval from Belgium and Uncle Sam - before being shot.
After Lumumba's death, the UN Security Council finally authorised full-scale intervention. It is noteworthy that the veto against widespread United Nations action had first come from the USA (still proud of your anti-UN stance, Andy? You fucking cunt). United Nations forces - God Bless Them - succeeded in holding the peace long enough for negotiations to be held between Congolese faction leaders, other African and Non-Aligned Movement leaders, delegations from NATO and the USSR, and even the Vatican. Sadly, these failed badly. The Secretary-General of the United nations, Dag Hammarskjöld, flew out to Congo to personally mediate the crisis. But, en route, his plane crashed for unknown reasons - but as we all suspect, hostile fire from someone was most certainly a possibility. He died; the first UN Secretary-General to be killed in office (and, pray God, the last one).
Meanwhile United Nations forces - who were no longer merely keeping the peace, but actually fighting alongside Congolese government troops against Tshombe's faction - were being pushed back. An entire regiment of UN-mandated Irish troops were captured at Jadotville, prompting the Security Council to take firmer action. By this point, even the Americans and Soviets had suspended their bitching in the UN in order to end the war. The UN launched a series of major offensives against Tshombe's forces in December 1961, forcing him to enter peace talks at Christmas.
Under UN supervision and through the negotiations of the new Prime Minister, Cyrille Adoula, the breakaway provinces rejoined Congo; with the exception of Mobutu's Katanga Province, which remained a nominal independence until late 1962, when the UN forcibly brought Katanga back under Congolese state control.
But, it doesn't end here. Elections in July 1964 returned a govenment under Mobutu himself - still a popular and powerful figurehead. The recent Simba Rebellion against the Kinshasa government - an extremely brutal rebellion which targeted any employees or affiliates of any government body, from regional governors to postal officials - was savagely repressed by Mobutu with the aid of Western mercenaries and military forces. This, in turn, merely exacerbated hostility against Mobutu - particularly when, in November 1965, he declared himself dictator of Congo.Could have mentioned this, Andy. hy did I go into so much detail? Well, we shall explain in the next segment.
|Mobutu renamed the nation Zaire, and ruled it for 32 years. He personally accumulated enormous wealth from the nation, until he was deposed (overthrown) by Laurent Kabila in 1997. Kabila then changed the nation's name to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda supported an insurrection in 1998, and a civil war resulted between the pro-Kabila Hutu tribe and the anti-Kabila Tutsi tribe. As more African nations became involved in this conflict in Central Africa, it began to look like the first all-African war. The United Nations sent peacekeeping troops in February 2000 and a cease-fire was declared later that year.||Andy is - shockingly - mostly right here. Joseph Mobutu was a tyrannical and massively corrupt bastard. Under his reign, Zaire's economy evaporated, with infrastructure collapsing and decaying, while mineral and gemstone exports were shipped overseas to rich ******** with the profits lining Mobutu's pockets - and only his. Human rights were non-existent, with political opponents tortured and executed in appalling ways. Have you ever seen The Last King of Scotland? The torture scenes in that were taken not from Idi Amin's Uganda, but from Mobutu's Zaire. Yes, his torturers really did cut off people's legs and arms, and sew them back on in the wrong places. Yes, his people really did beat people with leather truncheons until their eyes popped out, then pinned the eyes on the wall - with the optic nerves still intact - so they could watch themselves being skinned alive. Feeling queasy? Don't worry. Andy et al brush it all under the carpet. Which is so dreadfully nice of them, isn't it? Can't have these nasty tales soiling his little semen-stained Hymn to Reaganite Cold War Politics. Sleep well in your bed, Andy. Sleep well, knowing that decent people like us defend democracy, and keep you fuckers safe from the very nightmare hardline right-wing theocratic regime whose imagination you masturbate to.
Anyway, by November 1996 Mobutu's regime was facing intense opposition from Laurent-Désiré Kabila. By this time, the USSR was long-dead and the West no longer gave a shit about supporting tinpot bastards like Mobutu; hence Kabila's rebellion rapidly gained strength. It had been growing for years, but the catalyst was the millions of Rwandans flooding into Zaire to escape the Rwandan Genocide. These camps were nightmares, ruled by plague and starvation, and a variety of political factions dedicated to re-invading Rwanda. Zairean forces in the region were incapable of controlling them, thereby pushing thousands of Zaireans into Kabila's anti-Mobutu faction. With support from the unpaid and dejected Zairean Army, the fledgling Rwandan government, and the government of Angola - all of whom hated Mobutu - Kabila's faction quickly seized power in May 1997. But months later, divisions of the new DRC army rebelled against the government they had just supported, thus starting the Second Congo War.
I'm now so, so sick of recounting something which Andy was meant to discuss that I don't even want to discuss the Second Congo War. I don't want to talk about how the indigenous pygmies were hunted down, machine-gunned, and eaten. I don't want to talk about the gorillas and hippos now extinct from the war. I don't want to discuss the rape, the child soldiers, the urbicide, the millions of refugees, the blood diamonds, the slaves (yes, slaves); the "ethnic cleansing", the brandings and eye-gougings, the forced female circumcisions using fucking cutlery and male castrations by slow crushing; the skinning alive and the flogging to death, the plague-camps and the execution squads. You research it yourself. Go on, do it. Go on. Someone has to - and it ain't gonna be these right-wing cunts like Andrew Schlafly. See what happens out there in the world, beyond our nice, cosy, centrally-heated, microwave-dinner, water-on-tap West. See what happens when real human rights are being shat upon.
But in a country which Uncle Sam and John Bull don't give a flying fuck about.
So, from 1885 to 2011 - a period of 126 years - approximately 20,000,000 people have died.
That's twice the death toll of World War One. And World War One got its own Lecture. What does Congo get? Two paragraphs. And he hasn't even spelled the title correctly.
And it's still going on now
On behalf of the entire human, species - dead, living, and yet to be born - I would like to say this, Andy:
...well......I fear I might break the internet with the amount of profanity I want to unleash...
Portuguese colony - Angola
|Portugal suppressed independence movements in its colony of Angola until 1975, when opposition to the continuing expenses caused an overthrow of the government in the mother country of Portugal itself. Once free, three different revolutionary groups fought each other for control of Angola: (1) the communist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which grabbed the Angolan capital city of Luanda, (2) the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), which was supported by Zaire and the United States, and (3) the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) which was aided by South Africa and the United States. Peace was not achieved until 1988 and only then did the communist Cuban troops leave. All three groups continue to seek representation in the Angolan government.||Again, no context. Sigh...
Under the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, Portugal gained rights to settlement and occupation in Africa. But, like other European nations, Portugese activity was restricted to a few tiny little slave-forts on the coast. Pushed out of West Africa by the French and British, the Portugese focused their Atlantic activities on Angola; whence slaves were regularly shipped across to Portugese Brazil. However, Angola was prone to cyclical famines and demographic declines, resulting by the early nineteenth century in much less organised resistance to the presence of the Portugese and their local African allies. At the Berlin Conference in 1885, Portugal's hegemony over the region was assured by the other Europeans, and forced, discriminatory industrialisation began.
As Portugal itself was under a fascist dictatorship from 1933 to 1968 - a regime which had no interest in the new wave of decolonisation and human rights - the Portugese Empire lingered on late into the twentieth century. Pro-independence movements, notably UNITA, the MPLA, and the FNLA (it's actually rather imnpressive that Andy knows these), waged a guerilla war from 1961-74 against the Portugese authorities, and Portugal's harsh military repressions drew despite condemnation from NATO, the USSR, and the Non-Aligned Movement. When the fascist regime was overthrown in Portugal in the 1974 coup d'etat, the new Republic - seeking approval from the international community - granted independence to Angola in November 1975.
However - as Andy, again, astonishingly gets right - independence was granted to a fractured nation with no clear government. The ~300,000 white Portugese in Angola - who collectively formed the entire bureaucracy and economic infrastructure - fled, leaving Angola, like Congo, without a functioning government. And like so many conflicts, the resulting Angolan Civil War became a proxy war for the global superpowers. The USA did indeed support the FNLA and UNITA, while the USSR backed the MPLA; each side shipping munitions to its "allies" in an effort to contain the spread of communism and capitalism in the volatile region.
The MPLA was the de facto government due to its control of the Luanda region (again, Andy shocks us by being right) and maintained a barely-functioning bureaucracy and civil infratructure throughout the civil war. But following the USSR's collapse in 1991, the MPLA lost its most powerful supporter and was forced into negotiations with UNITA and the FNLA. In 2002, following the death of its leader, UNITA officially renounced the war and settled inton the role of a democratic opponent of the MPLA.Angola remains one of the most desperate nations in Africa, if not the world. The thirty-year civil war resulted in upwards of 600,000 dead; the country's economy is practically non-existent; government corruption is extreme; and the nation is filled with still-active minefields which the United Nations and African Union have been trying to defuse for the better part of two decades. Funny of Andy not to mention the role of the UN. And after a fairly decent segment, too. Oh, and why is there no discussion of Portugal's other volatile colony; Mozambique? Doesn't it exist? Dammit Andy, you were doing alright here. But after the last section on Congo, Andy could have just dropped his pantaloons and shat all over a history book, and that would still be higher-quality work than what preceded this section...
Dutch and British colony – South Africa
|South Africa was the most complex, and the most prosperous, of all African colonies. As early as the 1600s, the Dutch established Cape Town as a city at the southern tip of Africa. But during the Napoleonic Wars the British captured Cape Town (in 1815) and drove the Dutch (the “Boers”) inland. The Dutch favored continuation of slavery; the British abolished slavery in its empire in 1833.||Ah, South Africa. This ought to be entertaining.
Andy's off to a good start by actually bothering to provide context. And context, especially for South Africa, is crucial. It also makes good reading.
Settled from the eartly 1600s onwards by the Dutch, South Africa is the site of the oldest continual European occupation in Africa. Capetown itself became a strategically important site as a waystation for European ships sailing between Europe and Asia, and in order to cater to passing ships, Capetown quickly grew into a highly prosperous agricultural colony with extensive and ever-growing hinterlands in the interior. And as the centuries passed, the Dutch settlers morphed into a seperate group - the Boers. It is notable that in its early period, Capetown was as isolated and vulnerable as any slave-fort in West Africa, and the Boers were required to sign a variety of treaties with the Koi, San, and Xhosa. Yet as the Boer population grew, discrimination against the indigenous population increased. In Capetown itself, Boer treatment of black Africans was so harsh that even other Europeans condemned it. When the British "First Fleet" - the first convict colony convoy carrying prisoners to Australia - stopped off at Capetown for supplies in 1787, Captain Arthur Philip went so far as to submit a formal complaint to the Dutch governor-general of the colony - which ensured he received crap supplies from the Dutch - upon seeing the sheer savagery with which black natives were treated in the town and environs.When Britain annexed Cape Colony during the Napoleonic Wars - first in 1795, then returned to Holland in 1803, then conquered by Britain again in 1806 (not 1815 - keep up, Andy) - relations with the established Boers grew sour. Increasing numbers of Boers, unhappy at British rule, indeed migrated into the hinterlands where they clashed with the native Khoisan and Xhosa. The British Empire indeed abolished slavery in 1833, but for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, slavery in Cape Colony continued until 1846. Slavery was quite unique in the region - while in the New World and Africa more broadly, slaves were concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy owners, in South Africa the majority of ordinary farmers owned one or two slaves. So the slave population was very broadly and thinly spread. Boer farmers, fearing that the abolition of slavery would lead to their erstwhile slaves setting up rival farms under the protection of the British, or fearing being killed in their sleep by slaves on extremely isolated farmsteads, indeed decided to move.
|The Boers fought the native Africans (Bantu tribes such as the Zulus) during the Great Trek of the Boers. The Boers founded two inland republics, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. But the British were more powerful, and controlled wealthy diamond mines. The Brit Cecil Rhodes acquired great wealth through his monopoly of the diamond production in 1889, and he served as prime minister of the British Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896.||The "Great Trek" was not a single movement, but a series of migrations during the 1830s and 1840s. Like the trekkers in America at the same time, the Boers travelled in wagon trains deep into the interior, clashing with the Xhosa and refugees fleeing the mfecane - the recent rapid and violent expansion of the Zulu Kingdom. Indeed it was during the Trek that first contact appears to have been made between the Zulus and whites. Initially non-aggression treaties were signed, but as the Boers and Zulus grew increasingly suspicious of each other, skirmishes and stand-offs developed into outright war. The British, not interested in helping out the Boers and uneasy about ruffling the Zulus' feathers, remained neutral; further adding to Boer hostility towards the British.
Despite constant conflicts with the warring African societies around them, and the indifference of the British, the Boers did indeed establish Orange Free State and Transvaal in the 1840s. While these new republics abolished slavery, they had legal provisions for racial discrimination. For the next few decades the British and Boers left each other alone, until in the 1870s the discovery of vast diamond and gold fields at the Witwatersrand (or simply, "the Rand") overlapping Boer and British territory prompted a Gold Rush. This in turn attracted the attention of the opposing white factions - the British with their legislation and their heavy mining machinery, and the Boers with their itinerant black workforces and intense dislike of British interference. This marked the beginning of South Africa's own rapid and extremely volatile industrialisation - the Mineral Revolution.
The Mineral Revolution had profound economic, political, geopolitical, legal, and social consequences. Within two decades, the agricultural economy of the region had been overshadowed by industrial mining. Rural populations flocked to emergent cities such as Johannesburg and Kimberley, and the delicate, mutually-suspicious peace between the British, Boers, and indigenous states was overturned. In the early stages of mining activity, Boers relied on itinerant black labourers - most from nearby Pediland. Young black men would migrate to the orefields in the summer to work as miners, use their wages to purchase status symbols such as cattle and firearms, and then in late summer return to Pediland to collect the harvest. This was inadequate for the Boers, who desired a permanent workforce and did not like the idea of so many Africans possessing firearms. This was greatly exacerbated by the 1876 war between Transvaal and Pediland - in which, again, the British remained neutral.
By the early 1880s both Boers and British desired permanent workforces. Spearheaded by the biggest corporations - namely De Beers - Cape Colony passed legislation to achieve this. The Hut Tax - which we discussed earlier on Kenya - was introduced, requiring African men to pay tax in British cash, which they could increasingly only earn at the mines. In the shanties and slum-cities, a moral panic began as both white and black workers, who worked and lived in awful conditions, spent their wages getting blind drunk, gambling, and whoring. Pressured by governments and civilian groups, the corporations sought to remedy all of these problems by establishing prison-like compounds on which all workers were required to live, to curb their behaviour in the towns and prevent them from sneaking out diamonds and selling them illegally. While white workers were eventually granted the right to live in the towns themselves, black workers had to remain on the compounds, where they were paid in just enough cash to pay their Hut Tax, and the rest of their wages in "tokens" which could only be exchanged for abysmally low-quality food from the company. As surface ore was exhausted and mines dug deeper, the increasingly labour-intensive process required even more workers. Britain forcibly annexed Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Pediland, while Transvaal began to pass legislation prohibiting black men from any employment other than at the mines.
So, thus was the Mineral Revolution - which itself formed the roots of apartheid. While racism was clearly prevalent in South Africa before the Gold Rush, it was not racism alone which formed the genesis of apartheid. The need to create a fixed, urban, proletariat - which just so happened to be overwhelmingly black - and a middle class of educated bureaucrats and administrators - who happened to be white - was the origin.It's worth noting that the Mineral Revolution had a huge environmental impact, and was largely the impetus for the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War, in which the British sought to crush the military power of the Zulu Kingdom lest they threaten the mines. While the war began with a Zulu victory at Isandhlwana, in which brave warriors armed with spears and clubs annihilated a British-Basuto allied army (equally brave, I suppose; except their cowardly, bumbling, arrogant weasel of a commander) equipped with repeating rifles, rockets, Gatling guns, and shrapnel-lobbing artillery - one of the few victories for black Africans against the Europeans - the war rapidly turned against the Zulus and the Kingdom was conquered in the summer of 1879. With the last native power defeated, the only two political forces left in the region - the British and Boers - lost their last mutual enemy and had to face the reality of the growing hostility between them. By 1880, following the British annexation of all the Kimberley diamond fields in 1877 and the defeat of the last non-British, non-Boer military force in 1879, the tension between Boers and British spilled into outright war.
|A Boer War ensued from 1899 to 1902, and afterward it was the Boers (the Dutch) who established “apartheid”. Apartheid segregated the majority blacks from the minority whites in South Africa, with the white minority controlling the country.||Andy has completely ignored the First Anglo-Boer War of 1880-81. When Cape Colony attempted to annex Transvaal outright in 1880, the Boers - perhaps understandably - revolted. In the ensuing months of conflict the Boers fought a protracted guerilla war against the far larger British forces - still in their red jackets and white pith helmets - with neither side achieving any sort of victory. Eventually London ordered Cape Colony to offer a truce, and the war fizzled out in March 1881. The British and Boers remained bad neighbours, continuing their systematic transformation of the native Xhosa and Basuto, and defeated Zulus, into a brutalised urban proletariat, until the discovery of even richer gold fields on the borders of Transvaal and British Natal sparked a new conflict. When the British unbsuccessfully attempted to incite a rebellion against the Boers among British ex-pat workers in Transvaal - the botched "Jameson Raid" over Christmas and New Year 1895/6 - reltions became extremely hostile. Notably, the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, sent an open telegram to the Boer Prime Minister, Paul Kruger, congratulating him on his actions in crushing the bungled British raid - and offered an alliance betwwen Imperial Germany and the Boers. The British perceived this as a direct threat, and as Germany began shipping armaments to the Boers through German Namibia, and hostility broke out between Boer and British miners at the immense gold fields, the British decided to commit their entire Empire to defeating the Boers. On 11th October 1899 the first modern war, and the first sign of just how internally rotten the Empire was, began - the Second Anglo-Boer War.|
|The British granted South Africa independence in 1910, and it became a member of the British Commonwealth in 1931 with its constitution allowing white rule over the blacks. But the country was prosperous, and all enjoyed a higher standard of living than the remainder of Africa.||No surprises that Andy ignores the war. Britain committed vast military and financial resources, but suffered severe setbacks. The British tried to fight a European-style war, but this was a disaster. Even with immense reinforcements from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India, the immense British military was routinely defeated by much, much smaller forces of Boers armed with German munitions and expert knowledge of the land. The British only won after they started rounding up Boer and black civilians into concentration camps in order to deprive the Boers of farm supplies (and to threaten reprisals against Boer mens' families), and committing essentially the entire Imperial army. The British took some 45,000 casualties, the Boers 10,000 (with another 24,000 deported), while 28,000 Boer and between 90,000-108,000 black civilians died from disease in the appallingly squalid British concentration camps. The Empire was forced to float a loan on the New York Stock Exchange to fund the war, and massive reforms were triggered as it became apparent just how hopelessly unprepared the British Army was - and how unhealthy and severely malnourished recruits from Britain's urban, industrial population were. The international community, led by Germany, heaped fierce criticism on Britain for its harsh methods and blatant imperialism against whites (unsurprisingly, no-one seemed to care about the blacks). In the aftermath of the war, Britain was forced to make a series of concessions towards the Boers. While Britain won the war, the Boers won the peace - culminating in 1910 with the creation of the Union of South Africa - a semi-independent Dominion of the Empire. And here's where the modern narrative begins...|
|The Dutch South Africans (Afrikaner) gained control in 1948 when their National Party rose to power and enforced apartheid throughout South Africa. Homelands (segregated areas) were even established for the rival African tribes, and the whites reserved the best property for themselves. Ever since 1912 the all-black African National Congress (ANC) objected, but it was suppressed. Demonstrations, such as the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, occasionally broke out but were violently put down. An ANC leader named Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for his role in that demonstration. Riots over school segregation occurred in Soweto in 1976, and in 1977 the government beat an outspoken critic, Steve Biko, to death.||Oh great, the history of South Africa, c.1910-1995, gets one paragraph...
It's curious why Andy claims that "The Dutch South Africans (Afrikaner) gained control in 1948". They were in control long before that. ANd apartheid, as we have seen, is not something that sprang up overnight. It evolved slowly throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with the passage of increasingly restrictive legislation - the Franchise and Ballot Act of 1892, which limited the black vote; the Natal Legislative Assembly Bill of 1894, which deprived Indians of the right to vote; the General Pass Regulations Bill of 1905, which disenfranchised all blacks; the Asiatic Registration Act of 1906 which discriminated against South Africa's large Indian population; and of course the Natives Land Act of 1913, which forbade black South Africans from owning land outside of the shitty little reservations - essentially the worst, uncultivatable land which the whites didn't want. What happened in 1948 was not that apartheid suddenly appeared out of nowhere, but that the fiercely racist National Party won a landslide in the General Election - which blacks couldn't vote in - and began their reign in South Africa which lasted until the dissolution of apartheid in 1994.
From 1948 onwards, the National Party extended segregation from mere politics to all walks of life. Black South Africans were stripped of nearly all rights and corralled either onto ghastly reservations or "townships"; the slum peripheries of the major cities, in which all public services, infrastructure, shops, schools, prisons, the army, buses, beaches - even hospitals and ambulances, and even television channels - were seperated into "Whites-Only" and "Coloureds"; a term encompassing blacks, mixed-race, and Indians. Blacks were prohibited from owning dogs or firearms (missed a chance to bitch about gun control there, Andy), prohibited from buying alcohol, and inter-racial marriages and sex were illegal - with, predictably, only the black partner usually being punished.
Oh, and an interesting Andy-style factoid, which shows just how far the NP was willing to go to preserve white supremacy. After apartheid fell apart, the Truth Commission uncovered a stash of documents on South Africa's atomic bomb project - which neither NATO nor the USSR knew about for certain. The Party built six atomic bombs for use by the South African Defence Forces in the event of war - either an invasion from neighbouring African nations intent on overthrowing the white government, or a race war within South Africa itself. According to the documents, had an invasion occured or a race war broken out (which, with a 75% black population, could have turned ugly for the Party), the six atom bombs along with illegal chemical and biological weapons, were to be dropped on invading forces and/or detonated over South African cities in order to inflict maximum casualties on the blacks. Lovely, eh? Thankfully, the bombs were dismantled by the ANC, under UN supervision, in the early 1990s.
Andy at least acknowledges the brutality with which the National Party suppressed internal dissent. What's even more surprising is that he shies away from praising just how conservative the NP were. Businesses were not allowed to trade on Sundays; pornography and abortion were illegal; homosexuality was punishable by death; and there was no restriction on gun ownership among whites. Sounds like Andy's wet dream. Maybe he's avoided discussing it for fear of being associated with the racist shits in Capetown and Johannesburg - in which case he's a coward - or he's simply not bothered to do the research; in which case he's a crap teacher. Well, we already knew he was both of those...Oh well. At least he gets a point for mentioning Stephen Biko - a prominent Xhosa scholar and anti-apartheid activist, who, in 1977, was arrested, tortured during interrogation, and clubbed to death by the South African police. He also mentions the 1976 Soweto Uprising, in which a student protest was crushed with some 200-600 deaths and 1,000 wounded; and the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 in which over 70 people were killed during a protest. All of these events - and far more - were covered by the international press and received extreme condemnation from the international community. As communism was illegal in South Africa, and as apartheid was an embarrassing reminder to the USA of Jim Crow and segregationism, South Africa was increasingly isolated by the capitalists, the communists, and the Non-Aligned. But, sadly, the West continued to offer nominal support to the National Party out of fear that communism - already apparent in civil wars in neighbouring Angola, Mozambique, and Rhodesia - would emerge among the quasi-slave population of South Africa.
|There was increasing pressure worldwide for South Africa to end its racism. Its athletes were banned from the Olympics since the 1960s, and trade restrictions were imposed by other nations. A black South African bishop, Desmond Tutu, called for boycotts of his own nation.||Indeed - the international community was officially opposed to South Africa and increasingly isolated the country economically and diplomatically. Kudos for chucking in Desmond Tutu here. At least Andy resisted the temptation to claim that Christianity defeated apartheid...|
|In 1989, a new South African president named F.W. de Klerk was elected, and he ended apartheid. With international approval, de Klerk legalized the ANC, released Nelson Mandela from jail, obtained repeal of apartheid laws, and agreed to fully democratic elections in 1994. Nelson Mandela then won those elections and the ANC won a majority in the National Assembly, the bigger house in the South African Parliament. A new constitution containing a bill of rights like that in the United States was adopted in 1996, though it also included entitlement and social rights. The world fully accepts South Africa now, and it hosted the World Cup (soccer) in 2010. But while the outside world accepts South Africa, the country has been hurt by a mass exodus due to increased crime. "We as a nation cannot afford to lose skilled and hard-working citizens of whatever hue," declared one South African candidate for high office in 2006.||We're by now familiar with the theme that, with the dissolution of the USSR, the West was no longer required to prop up or support - even in secret - tinpot and fascist regimes around the globe. Fredrick William de Clerk was indeed a remarkably decent chap - by National Party standards. The African National Council, the Pan Africanist Congress, the South African Communist Party, and the United Democratic Front were indeed legalised, and Mandela - de facto leader of the ANC - was released. Apartheid laws were gradually repealed, and negotiations between the NP and ANC - which were repeatedly suspended during protests, marches, shootings, massacres, and attempted uprisings by black nationalist and white supremacist groups angry at the slow pace of change or the perceived weakness of the NP - resulted in the 1994 General Election being the first in which all South African adults were permitted to vote. Note, though, how Andy doesn't mention that at the time, the United States officially classified the ANC as a terrorist organisation. Could have had fun with the T-word, Massa Schlafly... South Africa is still a socially and economically damaged country. To his credit, Andy at least suggests this, but for some reason stops here and concludes his little tale with an uncited quote from an unnamed South African politician. Like South Africa itself, this is a disappointing and unsatisfactory end which leaves so much unresolved. Bravo, Andy. Bravo.|
British, French and Italian colony - Somalia
|Somalia is a Muslim country that is a combination of former colonies known as British Somaliland, French Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. Somalia has been Muslim since A.D. 900 and today is considered one of the bases for the terrorist group al-Qaida. Roughly the size of New Jersey in area and population, Somalia is located on the coast of East Africa (the Indian Ocean) and borders both Ethiopia and Kenya. Somalia obtained its independence in 1960. The violence is so bad in Somalia today that it has no central government at all. In 1993, 18 American soldiers were killed in Somalia, and on Jan. 9, 2007 the United States bombed parts of the country where al-Qaida terrorists were believed to be hiding.||"British, French and Italian colony". Notice the singular here. Andy makes it sound as though all three countries controlled the same colony. Maybe Britain had Somalia on Mondays and Tuesdays, France on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Italy on Fridays and Saturdays - with control on Sunday being decided by rock-paper-scissors. Note how Andy chucks in a bit of Victorian-style comparative physical and human geography (why hasn't he given approximate territorial and demographic sizes of US states for any other African nations so far? Why only his home state of New Jersey?), before dusting off the Pogo-Stick of History™ to bounce us randomly from 900, to 1960, to 1993, and to 2007 - a leap of over a thousand years - with some dead GIs and Terr'izzm chucked in for good measure. Also note his implication that just because an area is predominantly Islamic, it's a haven for al-Qaeda. In the same way that just because an area is predominantly Christian, it's a haven for frothing-mouthed theocratic fascists and Timothy McVeigh-esque survivalist militia. Oh, wait...
So, back to reality. There were, of course, three colonies. British Somaliland, French Somaliland, and Italian Somaliland. British Somaliland was officially a Protectorate rather than a colony, mostly due to the fact that the indigenous Somalis put up extremely fierce resistance to European colonisation, with the Dervish state holding out until the British, in an early foretelling of the Fascists in Abyssinia, carpet-bombed it in the 1920s. Both British and French Somaliland were conquered by the Italian Fascists in 1940-41, until the British reconquered the area. Referenda were held in 1958 (French Somaliland) and 1959 (British Somaliland) as to whether or not the three populations wanted to merge into one Greater Somalia - the French colony voted no (after the French colonists prohibited many natives from voting), and in 1977 gained independence as Djibouti. But earlier, in 1960, British and Italian Somaliland (the Italian section temporarily under UN-mandated British control) merged into an independent republic: Somalia. As was the case across Africa, the new colony was not in a position to fend for itself economically; and in terms of geopolitics, Somalia was in a strategic area. Both NATO and the Reds wanted to ensure that the opposing side stayed out of Somalia, lest they use it as a base from which to block the Suez Canal. Thus in 1969, a military coup d'etat, possibly orchestrated by the KGB - but not proven - installed a communist government in Somalia.
As the Somali Socialist Republic, Somalia created a unique and unprecedented society under a bizarre synthesis of fundamentalist Islam and orthodox Marxism - an unholy alliance if ever there was one, and one which Andy could have had a field day with. Had he been bothered to pull his finger out and actually do some research. The USSR provided enormous financial, economic, and military aid to Somalia, enabling rapdid industrialisation and the growth of the largest military in Africa. But when Somalia attempted to annex the ethnically-Somalian Ogaden region of Ethiopia in 1977, the USSR performed a volte-face and threw its weight in behind Ethiopia. The Somali state was able to endure due to increasing totalitarianism aand nominal Western backing against the Reds in Ethiopia - but when the Cold War fizzled out in the late 80s and early 90s, Somalia became ignored. A civil war between loyalists and rebels against the hardline, authoritarian regime broke out in 1991. The ensuing food crisis caused by disruptions to, and destruction of, farms and infrastructure, prompted the USA to launch a humanitarian intervention in 1993. That is the context of the "Black Hawk Down" incident which Andy is referring to here. Would have been nice of him to actually explain what the Americans were doing in Somalia. As mentioned, the war is still going on, and since 1991 the death toll has reached anywhere between 350,000 to half a million. But hey, who cares about half a million dead darkies? Eighteen dead Americans are far more important. Evidently - they actually get a mention.
At least Andy is right that central government has completely collapsed in Somalia. The legacy of Cold War totalitarianism has soured Somalis to the concept of central government, while the ongoing war makes it all but impossible to set up any sort of government for the while country. Consequently, in addition to being a safe haven for pirates and the site of one of the United Nations' longest-running interventions - restrained of course, by Uncle Sam (thanks to that Republican twat, John Bolton) - it is one of the tiny handful of societies in the world which is genuinely Anarchist. And as such, is a symbol for Anarchists everywhere who just want to whinge about the concept of government. There're plenty of them in the university, all of whom think it's some sort of Marxist-Leninist workers' paradise free from the oppressive shackles of currency, the police, and all the machinery of the capitalist state; rather than the starving, plague-wracked, war-torn hellhole it really is. It's surprising that Andy didn't hold up Somalia as part of his crusade against "Big Government". Maybe he doesn't want to be on the same side as those balaclava-wearing Mummy's Boys who smash a bank window and think that makes them the next Che Guevara, or maybe he doesn't want to acknowledge that the darkies did away with Big Government before the WASPs of New Jersey. Or maybe, as usual, he just didn't do any research.
Apparently not. As usual, Andy has done his trademark half-arsed job. In a style tiresomely familiar since the opening paragraphs of Lecture One, Mr Schlafly has done just enough research to get a few placenames, dates, and broad, generic, sweeping themes correct; and then has used those very, very, very bare bones as a framework on which to pack Republican propaganda, right-wing Christoservative hypocrisy, racism both subtle and overt, extreme Americentrism, gobsmacking factual errors, and outrageous oversights. It's depressingly commonplace for Westerners to write African history which focuses only on the negative while ignoring the positive - not that there's been a lot of positive events in African history in the last fifty years - but Andy's version here is insultingly shit. And lest I be accused of shouting down from my racial pedestal, bear in mind that anyone else whose history has been mauled in this series - be they Imperial Chinese, Ancient Egyptian, Roman, medieval Carolingian, Victorian, Aborigine, Native American, Renaissance Russian, Early Modern Turk, or indeed any member of the human species - would be just as insulted to read the version of history assigned to them by this officious, obnoxious, unimaginably hypocritical, piss-poor excuse of a teacher. The plaintiff at Andy's legal bar, to paraphrase Justice Jackson at the Nuremberg Trials, is civilisation itself.
I have a feeling we'd all find that rather refreshing.
|“Zionism” began in the late 1800s to reestablish a Jewish state in Palestine in and around Jerusalem, which the ancient Hebrews had built. Theodor Herzl led the movement in the 1890s to establish a modern state of Israel. Jewish people were motivated partly by the religious faith that Jerusalem and Palestine were the Promised Land, and partly motivated by a desire to live together again after many centuries of dispersion in other lands, where they endured persecution. The Russian pogroms of violence against Jewish settlements reinforced the desire for a new Jewish homeland. The “Dreyfus Affair” in France in 1894, whereby a French captain was persecuted based on a false accusation of selling military secrets to Germany, added to the desire for a Jewish nation that could defend against persecution.||Again we are forced to ask; why is Israel in a section entitled "Independence Movements"? From whom precisely did Israel gain independence? The Ottoman Empire? The United Nations Mandate? In reality, Israel didn't gain independence from anyone - it emerged. Evolved, even. The correct current term is the "Gathering of Israel", emphasising a gradual coming-together rather than a one-off declaration. Will Andy mention any of this...?
Great start, Andy. The ancient hebrews did not build Jerusalem. As "recorded" in Judges 1:8, the Hebrews attacked Jerusalem during the aftermath of Joshua's conquest of the Holy Land. They then massacred its inhabitants and burned it down. Nice. So Jerusalem predated the Hebrews. That's what the Bible says, and as we all know, the Bible is infallible. So either Andy is calling God a liar (Blasphemy!!!), or he thinks he knows better (Heresy!!!), or he doesn't actually read his Bible (Apostasy!!!). Where're the Adepta Sororitas when you need them? Quick - someone ring Rent-an-Inquisitor, and someone else FedEx Andy some asbestos underwear. He'll need it where he's going...
Following his sins, Andy then gives us a thumbnail sketch of Zionism, but without a clear definition. Where's your Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary now? Today it's something of a dirty word, thrown around by neo-Nazis throwing a hissy fit over their bête noir, or protestors angry at Israeli tanks shelling the shit out of Arab villages. But back in the day, it was a good word, indeed encapsulating the dream of a unified Jewish homeland. There hadn't been one since the Jewish diaspora of the First Century, when the Romans burned the Temple, annexed the client-kingdom of Judea as an Imperial province, and scattered the Jews across the Empire. After nearly two millennia of pogroms, Inquisitions, burnings at the stake, and all the ghastly little things that medieval and Early Modern Europeans did to Jews, it's understandable that they would want their own country back. But unfortunately, someone else was living there. The Arabs.
The Ottoman Empire was remarkably leniant towards Jewish migration into the Holy Land. Jews, like Christians, were considered dhimmi - a concept we covered back in Lecture Six - and as a social group not bound by the complex rules of Islamic financing, the Ottoman state found it rather handy to have a Jewish population. But remember that for most of the period c.100-1800, it was very difficult for anyone to simply up and move; not unless they were forced by someone else, and especially not when the move was to somewhere as far away (from Europe) as the Middle East. Relocating from Eastern Europe (I'm not sure why so many European Jews settled in Eastern Europe, but they did) to the Holy Land in the preindustrial era was no small task. Hence migration was extremely limited. But in the nineteenth century, three phenomena emerged. The first was a wave of pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, which expelled many Jews from those regions. Second was the development of fast and (relatively) affordable rail and steamship travel. Third was the increasing modernisation of the Ottoman Empire - as the Empire sought to industrialise, Europeanise, and reform, the Sublime Porte had even more reason to welcome European Jews with their European educations, European skills, and European contacts.So Andy's at least in the right area, if a little vague. He even gets a point for mentioning the Dreyfus Affair - which we covered in the appropriate place, back in Lecture Ten. That extra point will undoubtedly bring a small smile to his face as Andy endures the infernal machinations of Hell's grim tyrants, for all eternity, as punishment for having contradicted the Bible....
|The Turks controlled Palestine for centuries leading up to World War I, but the defeat of the Ottoman Turks in that war allowed Great Britain to assume control of the territory. Its Balfour Declaration (1917) favored a Jewish homelanêd while protecting rights of Arabs living there. Between the world wars many Jewish settlers from Europe migrated to Palestine and set up communal agricultural settlements known as kibbutzim, in anticipation of a new Jewish state. The Jewish population in Palestine increased from about 84,000 in 1922 to 554,000 in 1945, but the Muslim population also increased by almost an identical amount from 589,000 to about 1,036,000. Today there are about 5 million people of Jewish origin living in Israel. Relatively few Jewish citizens of the United States have moved to Palestine, but they have generously lent financial and political support for the Zionist cause.||The Ottoman collapse in 1919 did not "allow" Britain to take over the area. The remnants of the Ottoman Empire were placed under mandates by the League of Nations - essentially the League called on the Allies to keep an eye on the territories, until indigenous governments could be formed. Most of the old Ottoman territories were mandated to France, but the Holy Land was put under British administration. And it must be noted that neither Britain nor France were exactly excited about this. They had enough on their imperial plates without having to overstretch their militaries and sink scarce funding into keeping the mutually-antagonistic nationalist groups of the Ottoman retreat at bay.
Indeed, immigration into British Palestine did increase in the 1920s and 30s - largely because Britain, on behalf of the League of Nations, relaxed immigration controls. This was great if you were a Jew seeking to move there, but not quite so nice if you were an Arab or Jew already living there. By 1939 British Palestine was becoming overpopulated and increasingly reliant on food imports through the British-controlled, Jewish-dominated coastal cities, leading to an emerging gulf between the Jewish-dominated urban and Arab-dominated rural zones. Throughout the 1930s, the British imposed a variety of increasingly strict immigration laws to try and avert a demographic crisis and/or ethnic conflict. Even by 1939, shiploads of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany were being turned away at the docks. Not exactly our proudest moment. But as in all things, we have be mindful of the grim realities of life - in this case, food supply and the possibility of civil war. Put yourself in the position of the British Governor-General. Which should you do - send ships of Jews back to Hitler and have bloodied hands? Or risk igniting a civil war - a race war - and end up with even more blood on your fingers? Not a pretty choice.
It's unclear why Andy suddenly jumps from 1930s British Palestine to 2010s America - must be the Pogo-Stick again - but he really ought to be careful with his phraseology. American support for Israeli Zionism doesn't go down terribly well among much of the global population, who see such support as merely propping up a militaristic, borderline-fascist government which is every bit as bad as the terrorist groups it combats, but which isn't crucified by American conservatives when Israelis shell hospitals or shoot children, in the way that Faux News and friends scream out when Palestinians bomb buses and open fire in shops. Let's not take sides here, as both are as bad as each other. But predictably, Andy sings the praises of one side only. Why is it that American fundamentalist Christians are so vitriolic in their support of Israel? Jews haven't accepted Jesus, so surely that makes them no better than kitten-eating atheists?Anyway, back to history...
|The Balfour Declaration called for the creation of Palestinian state in addition to Israel. Lawrence of Arabia then helped create Jordan (originally Transjordan) as a semi-autonomous Palestinian state in 1921. Jordan attained its full independence in 1946. But later there were demands for another Palestinian state. Lawrence of Arabia favored promotion of the British Empire in the Middle East, and resisted creation of a Jewish state as a threat to British influence in the region. Others opposed the creation of a Jewish state based on the argument that it would be imperialistic, with migrating Russian Jews being accused of imperialism.||The 1917 Balfour Declaration, drafted by the British Government, did indeed call for the establishment of a Jewish homeland after the war. This was largely intended to whip up anti-Ottoman nationalism among the Holy Land's Jewish population. However, since 1915 Britain had been making promises to the local Arab population to establish Arab nations. The Balfour Declaration didn't quite contradict these, but it contributed to growing mistrust and resentment between Jews and Arabs, and between both groups and the British. And as Andy remarkably gets right - in a ham-handed way - Jewish populations already in the area resented other Jews coming in and expecting to share the fruits of the natives' labour. Just because people share an ethnic heritage, doesn't mean they will automatically get along. Andy loses points for chucking in T.E. Lawrence without context, and for ignoring France's role in Jordanian independence. Modern Jordan is a combination of French and British mandate areas, and was created largely because Abdullah Ibn-Hussain looked like an ideal King to unify the Jordanians, and both European nations were looking to cut costs in the area. Hence, they merged both areas into the Kingdom of Jordan, and pulled out.|
|World War II changed many things, and after the war Great Britain asked the United Nations to partition Palestine. The United Nations carved out a small parcel of property, slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey, for a new Jewish state to be named “Israel” (see map). This new nation was born on May 14, 1948, with David Ben-Gurion as its first prime minister and renowned scientist Chaim Weizmann as its first president.||Yes, World War Two did indeed change many things. It lowered the world's oil supply. It led to the invention of plastic surgery. It created "Cargo Cult" religions in the South Pacific. Which of these changes is Andy specifically referring to? Ohh right, he means the Holocaust. Why couldn't he have just said this? Remember, Andy? Those six or seven million Jews shot, gassed, or starved by the Nazis? Missed a chance to get on your Evilooshun hobbyhorse, there.
Indeed, in the aftermath of the Holocaust there was immense public pressure for Britain to relax its 1930s immigration restrictions into Palestine. Newsreel footage of ships full of Jews - many of them still in their concentration camp uniforms - being turned away by the Royal Navy provoked outrage in Europe, America, and (as Stalin had his own reasons for feigning indignance) the USSR. So, the UN indeed stepped in and on May 14th 1948, amidst the feared civil war between Jews and Muslims, the British marched down to the ships, and the new state of Israel was established. Right in the middle of civil war.Andy's grammar is rather odd here. Why does he say "a small parcel of property"? "Parcel of land" would be better. I wasn't aware that Earth's surface can be put in a box and sent through Royal Mail. Again, he references New Jersey's physical geography. If one were to read this Lecture series without prior knowledge of the USA, one could be forgiven for thinking that the entire United States consists of New Jersey. Oh well. At least the map didn't make it here. I thank the Great God of Cartography that the poor thing is at rest...
|The Muslim Arabs refused to accept the existence of Israel. The surrounding Arab states invaded Israel the next day, and started additional wars in 1956, 1967 and 1973. The conflicts prevented the United Nations plan for a separate Palestinian state from happening.||Ascribing a single, homogenous motive for a vast group is ridiculous. The Arabs of 1948 were no more a single, unified people than were the populations of Europe. Arab nations' justification for war in May 1948 varied between not agreeing to the UN mandate, complaints that the emergent Israeli government was deliberately targeting its Arab population (an inevitably, given that the two groups were fighting a civil war), and arguing that it was not fair that their homeland should be carved up and annexed to compensate for what Hitler had done. The Arabs of 1948 weren't some sort of Borg Collective. There was variation. Neither was Israel a single, unified group. From 1948 to 1951, the population doubled as Holocaust survivors and Jews from across the Middle East migrated into Israel, sparking the sort of tensions and mutual hostility that arises whenever people are packed into close quarters. Political parties formed, along with militias, anarchists, communists, ultra-nationalists, pacifists, theocratic movements, socialists; all the political spectrum of the world suddenly emerged in the new nation. And of course, the resulting wars between Israel and its neighbours drew the attention of the USSR and NATO. Why didn't Andy mention any of this?|
|The 1967 “Six-Day War” resulted when the Egyptian ruler Gamal Abdel Nasser closed off the Gulf of Aqaba, which was the only access Israel had to the Red Sea. Israel responded with massive air strikes against several Arab nations, including Egypt, killing many Arabs and destroying their militaries. Israel conquered Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights. Palestinians in Jerusalem were offered the opportunity to become Israeli citizens, but many declined, leaving them without a country.||Is Andy now criticising the Israeli Defence Forces for carpet-bombing civilians? At least his terminology suggests the ferocity of the short conflict, in which Israel utterly routed the Arab League armies. Thankfully, Andy restrained himself from wandering off onto a militaristic, anti-Islam tangent. Or maybe he just didn't do his homework.|
|Anwar Sadat succeeded Nasser as ruler of Egypt, and in October 1973, Sadat launched a surprise attack on Israel on its holy day, Yom Kippur. After suffering massive initial losses, the Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, regained much of the lost territory. Golda Meir was the third women in history to run a nation, and David Ben-Gurion once described her as “the only man in the Cabinet” of Israel. However, she was forced to resign the following year based on criticism of how she handled the war. Winston Churchill also lost power as soon as World War II was over. Maybe voters simply wanted to replace someone who reminded them of the bad memories of war.||This governmental tangent is interesting. If Golda Meir was "the third women [sic] in history to run a nation", who were the first two? Apparently only two of these people really existed:
|In 1979 President Jimmy Carter brokered a peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, then led by Menachem Begin, and this deal is known as the Camp David Accords. Egypt agreed to recognize Israel in exchange for receiving return of the Sinai Peninsula. The United States promised both countries a massive amount of foreign aid, about $10 billion each year in gifts to each nation, to complete the deal. Though Sadat was assassinated by Muslims in 1981, his successor (Hosni Mubarak) promised to continue to honor the deal. Mubarak was overthrown in 2011.||Wahey, it's Jimmy again! Andy's wheeled him out thrice now. But in a strange change of heart, Andy doesn't trot him out simply in order to crucify him. What's this, Andy? Are Demmycrats actually capable of doing good things? Ooh. What would Reagan say... Note the tacked-on segment at the end (after "Muzzlims Kill!!") referring to Mubarak. This is Andy's sole mention of the 2011 Arab Spring, and one of the few pithy little insertions he added to this lecture in late 2011, in a failed attempt to improve them. Kudos, Andy! Truly, you are the King of Crap!|
|Yasir Arafat, a former construction engineer, founded the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964. It demanded a Palestinian state in the area of Jerusalem and rejected the right of Israel to exist. During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, PLO terrorists kidnapped and murdered Israeli athletes. In 1987, the PLO instituted a campaign of persistent violence called “intifada”, where common citizens and even children threw stones at Israelis and committed additional violence. Arab nations boycotted Israeli goods and even attempted to boycott any company that did business with Israel.||We're used to Andy triumphantly parading the ages of his heroes when possible, but when he wants to mention a historical figure and can't resort to claiming that they were a "hymzkoul'd teenager", he rakes up some weirdly irrelevant factoids. Like how Whistlin' Dixie was a fan of playing cards, or how The Infernal Prince of Darkness, Charles Darwin, had an ecclesiastical degree. Who cares if Yasir Arafat was a construction worker? Is it relevant in this context? If Andy's not going to mention twenty million deaths in the Congo, why is he mentioning political leaders' past jobs? What's the frigging point?!
Note his use of the phrase "common citizen". Makes Andy sound like a snooty, monocle-wearing aristocrat, sipping his Martini while sneering at the proles. A "lib'rul elite", as he would term it. [opens window of ivory tower] "You, boy! Why aren't you toiling in the factory? You, old woman! Get back to cleaning the stairs with a toothbrush!" [wrinkles nose and turns to obsequeious, praise-hungry butler] "Oh I say, KenDoll. Shoo the little ragamuffins away. I shan't have my brandy and cigars interrupted by the proles.""Throwing stones" isn't exactly an act of violence. Alright, technically it is; but it's hardly worth bringing up here. Again, we must ask why Andy is bringing this up. Apparently a couple of Palestinian kids chucking pebbles is more important than, oh I don't know... the fucking Congo War.
|Secret talks between Israeli leaders and the PLO in Oslo, Norway culminated with the Declaration of Principles in 1993, whereby Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin agreed to allow Palestinian self-rule over two strips of land known as the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and Arafat and Rabin signed the agreement in front of President Clinton at the White House in 1993. This angered orthodox Jewish Israelis who had been building settlements in both regions, and one assassinated Rabin in 1995. A more conservative leader emerged in Israel named Benjamin Netanyahu, who negotiated a partial withdrawal by Israeli settlers from Hebron, which is on the West Bank, in 1997. In 2005, Israel removed its settlements from the Gaza Strip, and there is a quasi-Palestinian state called the Palestinian National Authority that functions under Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas.||Again, Andy brings up a Democrat President without bitching. Rather odd. Maybe he's a sleeper agent? The rest of this paragraph is suspiciously neutral, and could pass for real history. What's Andy up to? Is he copy-and-pasting from his students again? Or is he lulling us into a false sense of security before delivering a sledgehammer of Christoservative propaganda? Hmm...|
|In the early 21st century, Israel endured a series of horrific suicide bombings, often targeting Jewish weddings, buses, caregivers and even children. Weekly and sometimes daily there would be new reports of a half-dozen Jews murdered by a Muslim suicide bomber, and sometimes a second bomb would detonate to murder those who came to the aid of the initial victims. Israel finally stopped the bombings by building a wall to end the flow of weapons and terrorists from hostile neighbors.||Oh GOD.
It was as we suspected. Where... where do we start? Ok, Israel has indeed endured a more or less permanent state of siege since its inception. And while the Israeli government and Arab opposition factions are both as bad as each other, it's not the governments which bear the brunt of the conflict. It's the people on the street. Andy at least acknowledges this, but it only seems to be another instance of him parading corpses in order to bitch - in this case, an excuse for him to paint Muslims with the terrorist brush. Yes, there are Muslim terrorists. But there are Israeli terrorists too. Just because the latter get approval from the White House, doesn't mean that what they do is morally right. And what about the Israeli government's flagrant violations of UN Resolutions? There have been a staggering quantity of United Nations resolutions regarding Israel, many of them explicitly requiring the Israeli government to stop whatever it is that they're doing. Yet they completely ignore these resolutions. If an Arab organisation violates the resolutions, or god forbid, if a non-Israeli Middle-East nation violates a single resolution, then Republicans consider it sufficient justification for a war. But when Israel violates more Resolutions than Andrew Schlafly has had hot dinners, Uncle Sam doesn't seem to get quite as worked up...
Oh, and as for Israel's resurrection of the Berlin Wall; it has not been an effective deterrent. No matter how high you build a wall, people can get round it. It's been done for as long as there have been walls. As mentioned before, Andy updated this 2006 Lecture in late 2011. If he really believes that there have been no bombings in Israel since 2006, then Andrew "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Schlafly is even more stupid than he is hypocritical.
And so ends the section on Israel. The Arab-Israeli Conflict is a very ugly affair. Neither side is right, both sides are wrong, and as always, it's the people in the street who pay the price. Like the Conflict itself, Andy's version is similarly ugly, laden with self-righteous propaganda, and appears incapable of being resolved. What a cheerful little segment that was.
|Russia and other nations in the Soviet Union regained their independence when the Union broke up. One Russian predicted that the United States will also break up in a similar way.||Ah, the breakup of the USSR. Coming from a man like Andy, this should be fun. And we're off to a great start. "One Russian predicted". Who? Who, Andy? Tsar Alexander I? General Semyon Timoshenko? Cousin Grigor who drives the number 52 bus into downtown Petroplavsk? Really, he could have been a tad more specific. And why is it even worth mentioning? Again, Andy has chucked in a random and pointless factoid for no apparent reason. Does he want the USA to break up? Is that why he's mentioned it? Tsk tsk. I wonder if Andy can spell "Traitor"...|
|Mikhail Gorbachev rose to power in the Soviet Union and in 1985 he promoted a new policy called “glasnost” or openness. This ended decades of censorship by the communist dictators, and free speech began to work wonders. Books could be published and churches could preach the Gospel. He released some political prisoners. Faced with a failing economy, Gorbachev adopted “perestroika”, which was a restructuring of the Soviet economy. He permitted some ownership of private property, such as small businesses, farms and factories.||The breakup of the USSR was one of the turning points of modern history. It's also a teensy bit complex. So, unlike Andy, let's establish a bit of context.
By the mid 1980s, the Soviet Union was still going strong. At least, on the surface. The Soviet military was vast, Moscow's control of the non-Russian peripheries and satellite states appeared unchallenged, and economically, the Union was plodding along. Yet beneath the surface - behind the facade offered by the state-controlled media - the Union was facing real problems. The failure of the Soviet war in Afghanistan had revealed serious defects in the vast, lumbering military. Like the civil bureaucracy, the upper echelons of the Red Army were still populated by dessicated old men placed in power by Brezhnev, Khrushchev, or even Stalin, decades before. And as the USSR's planners still clung to the old-school geopolitical strategy of assuming that territory equalled power, the Union was required to maintain a vast army to hold its geopolitical possessions. The unimaginably bloated military was a severe drain on the already-weakening Soviet economy; and the failure in Afghanistan had increasingly revealed to Soviet government, Soviet citizens, and the international community, just how ineffective a gargantuan army was in the latter twentieth century. The USSR's economy had stagnated badly in recent decades. While Khrushchev had initiated reforms in the early 1960s to rejuvenate production and trade, by focusing on light industries and consumer goods to the detriment of heavy industry, many of his reforms were cancelled by Leonid Brezhnev in the 60s and 70s. Brezhnev advocated a return to an emphasis on heavy industry and Stalin-style state quotas. By the time Brezhnev shuffled off the mortal coil in November 1982, the economy was badly stagnant. His successors, Yuri Andropov and later Konstantin Chernenko, were ailing old men who spent more time in hospital than the Kremlin, who devoted their limited time to the growing tension with the West in the "Second Cold War" of the early 80s, and who were in office for a little over a year each before following in Brezhnev's footsteps. The Union, by 1985, looked strong but in reality was a lumbering dinosaur whose economy and politics - thanks to the ancient ideologues who clung to power - had scarcely changed in decades. Here's where Gorbachev comes in.
Appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union by the Politburo in March 1985, Gorbachev was new blood. He was aware of the chronic economic stagnation of the Union and thus sought to introduce reforms similar to those under Khrushchev, thirty-five years before. At the same time, Gorbachev sacked the old men in the Kremlin, or promoted them to harmless ceremonial jobs, and brought in similar young (by Kremlin standards), reform-minded men to help him restructure and reform the Union.
Gorbachev's economic reforms - emphasis on light industries, freer trade, the enactment of laws allowing limited-scale private enterprise - and a transference of economic planning from bureaucrats in Moscow to regional governors more attuned to local economies, produced a mixed bag. Production and GNP increased, but state income, paradoxically, declined. A significant cause of this was increased black marketeering - as the infrastructure and apparatus for free enterprise traditionally did not exist in the USSR, relaxation of laws created widespread black markets which could not be controlled - and therefore not taxed - by the state. An example illustrates this. One of Gorbachev's more remarkable reforms came about as a consequence of an anti-alcoholism campaign. Life in the USSR was grim, and alcoholism was rampant across the Union (Andy could have had fun bitching about "Atheism and Alcoholism" here). Taking inspiration from a similar campaign by Khrushchev, Gorbachev sought to tackle chronic alcoholism by raising the price of booze. A knock-on effect of this was a huge fall in income for the state. As the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcohol was - like everything - a state monopoly, raising prices caused fewer sales, which resulted in fewer taxes. The USSR's budget dropped by some 100 billion rubles as a result. And this money was badly needed by the state. Similar consequences emerged in the primary consumer goods industries - namely tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and food - while emerging light industries were increasingly drawn into the orbit of private, unregulated, untaxed markets rather than the tax orbit of the distant state bureaucracy.
Andy has neglected to mention the demonstrations in the Baltic states and Central Asia in 1986; vast movements in which tens of thousands marched to protest the Soviet Union's iron grip on their nations. Particularly galling was the policy of Russification since the 1920s, whereby the Russian language was given prime position in education and local government, and the best jobs went to party apparatchiks from Russia. Remember that the USSR was extremely ethnically diverse, and the Kazaks, Uzbekis, Tatars, Lithuanians, Mongolians, etc etc ad infinitum, didn't like being pushed around by the Russians. Local governors' responses to these protests and riots were typically heavy-handed, and the death of protestors at the hands of Russian troops became rallying-points for further demonstrations and unrest. Anti-Soviet nationalism had always been bubbling away in the USSR, and frequently flared up. What made the situation in 1986-91 unique was that the demonstrations in the peripheries coincided with reforms at the centre - glasnost. In the Kremlin, the days of Stalin were over. The "New Men" were still fiercely patriotic towards the Union, but were no longer willing to resort to the brutal tactics and severe repression of Stalin and his successors. A new age of acceptance, multiple public voices, and sensitivity towards local concerns was the order of the day. The protests of the late 1980s - over everything from Russification, to bread queues, to the price of booze, to nationalism, to the chronic environmental degradation caused by Soviet industrialisation (would have been fun to see Andy take the side of environmentalists against the Reds) - were nothing new. What was new was that they were not crushed by the Kremlin.But of course, Andy mentions none of this. Instead he chucks in the Church as if to imply that Christianity brought down the Soviet Union. What utter rubbish. It wasn't just churches which gained a little freedom - it was synagogues and mosques too. And anyway, religion had practically nothing whatsoever to do with the increasing anti-Soviet sentiment. Nationalism was the motive, not God.
|In 1987, Gorbachev introduced democratization that allowed fairer, more competitive elections. Gorbachev remained a dedicated communist, but he wanted voters to be able to choose between rival candidates rather than simply electing those candidates presented only by the Communist Party. He also encouraged Eastern European countries adopt reforms.||Glasnost improved the Union's economy at the price of opening up a Pandora's Box of anti-Soviet politics. Perestroika exacerbated the political sitauation. Elections became more open. Non-state press was permitted. The Union stopped jamming foreign radio stations, allowing Soviet citizens to hear news from someone else other than the Communist Party. In retrospect these all seem like attempts to bring down the Union, partly explaining why Gorbachev is so hated by many Russians today. But at the time they were genuine efforts to revitalise the Union and demonstrate that the USSR was mature enough to stand on its own without the repression which had marked life under Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev. Andy is surprisingly right that Gorbachev was still a dedicated communist - he did not seek to dissolve the Union, but reform it so as to ensure its longevity. Increasingly, the Kremlin passed liberal laws for the non-Russian peripheries. Local languages were promoted; pre-Soviet flags could be flown; and a great deal of day-to-day power was transferred from central planners in Moscow to local administrators in regional capitals. As stated, these were attempts to modernise the Union and not destroy it. But anti-Soviet sentiment had been simmering for decades. Under glasnost and perestroika, the harsh realities of the Soviet system of control were exposed. In February 1988, a minor administrative territorial change in the Caucasus - a territorial change unapproved by the Kremlin, and which therefore defied Moscow itself - led to local civil war in the Soviet province of Armenia. Mass demonstrations and strikes occured, and the Union responded by sending in troops. A civil war broke out and was only crushed when Gorbachev had the ringleaders arrested, the parties dissolved, and the area occupied by the Red Army. The events in Armenia were a sort of rallying-call rto nationalist movements across the Union - break away now, or face the return of Stalin-esque repression.|
|As explained in more detail below, Eastern Europe took advantage of Gorbachev’s reforms to the point where they broke away from strict communism. This led Lithuania, which had been annexed to the Soviet Union in 1940, to declare its independence in March 1990. Gorbachev responded as his communist predecessors would have: he blockaded the rebellious country and, when that did not work, in January 1991 he ordered the Soviet troops to attack the capital of Lithuania. Civilians were slaughtered.||Andy has completely glossed over the events of 1989. Unsurprising. Even though 1989 was the turning-point of the Union...
By early 1989 the Union's politics had been transformed radically. Nationalist demonstrations were occuring all over the Union, and for the first time they were shown uncensored in the Soviet media - and in foreign media, now avaliable to Soviet citizens. Elections for the Congress of Peoples' Deputies returned a number of radicals, and for the first time, Soviet citizens could watch their government's deliberations and arguments on television instead of simply reading the Party line in the state press. Andy is actually right in describing the impact this had in Eastern Europe - by the end of 1989, the Warsaw Pact countries (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria) had all broken away from direct control of the USSR (although still affiliated with the Union) while the Baltic states (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia), which had long been a hotbed of anti-Soviet sentiment and the site of some of the most radical reforms, achieved full political independence. As virulently anti-Soviet demonstrations broke out across the Union - including in Russia itself - and as the satellite states broke away, Gorbachev saw the writing on the wall. The people of the Soviet Union, tired of marginalisation and oppression, did not share Gorbachev's vision of modernising and liberalising the country for the modern era. They did not want to reform the USSR - they wanted to end it.
By the end of 1990, the Union had drastically shrunk. Eastern Europe had broken up into independent nations. 1990 elections in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Armenia, Moldova, and Georgia - elections under perestroika - all returned nationalist governments which refused to pay taxes to Moscow of ship resources to Russia, threatening a collapse of the entire Soviet economy. Attempts by Azerbaijan to break away were met with by force from Moscow, which only pushed more Azerbaijanis into the arms of the independence movement. Soon, Ukraine gained semi-independence and by early 1991 the Moscow government, teetering on the brink of economic collapse, realised that it had to make a decision. A referendum was called.Why hasn't Andy mentioned any of this?
|But perhaps Providence intervened this time. Boris Yeltsin, a charismatic Russian, emerged to challenge Gorbachev’s leadership. Yeltsin had been a popular mayor of Moscow and was a powerful member of the parliament. In June 1991, the voters elected Yeltsin as president of a new Russian Republic.||The Union-wide referendum in April 1991 returned a majority in favour of maintaining the USSR in a loose, modified, modernised form. Gorbachev spent the summer of 1991 implementing a range of further political and economic reforms in an attempt to restructure the collapsing economy and territorial integrity of the Union. The imminent "New Union Treaty" would restructure the USSR in radical, liberal ways. Yet these reforms, as is so often the case, provoked a hardline response. And again, as is so often the case, the hardline counter-movement came from the military. It's worth noting that Yeltsin did not seek to challenge Gorbachev's leadership. Yeltsin was one of the liberal reformers who believed that Gorbachev's reforms were not enough, and that the only way to save the economy was a transition to a capitalist, Western-stle system - even if that meant the complete dissolution of the USSR. Yeltsin became President of the Russian Federation - a semi-government within the USSR - and continued to agitate for complete dissolution of the Union in favour of Western capitalism and national governments.|
|Communists were angry and determined to stop Yeltsin’s challenge. In August 1991, they ordered the soldiers to kill Yeltsin. Providence must have intervened, because the troops refused the order. Rarely do troops refuse orders. In a communist country, such refusal was unheard of. Gorbachev promptly resigned as head of the Communist Party, and then Latvia, Estonia and other Soviet republics declared their independence as Lithuania had. On Christmas Day of 1991, Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union.||The August 1991 attempted coup d'etat was not a case of communists against Yeltsin. There were many factions of communists, roughly focused around reformist, pro-Gorbachev communists, and traditionalist, anti-Gorbachev opponents. Andy's dichotomy is, to use a favourite word of his, "silly".
The reforms of the summer of 1991 worried and angered hardline communists and traditionalists who did not want the Union to fall. As such, in August a cabal of army marshals, KGB commanders, and government Ministers attempted a coup against Gorbachev, to regain control of the USSR and overturn Gorbachev's reforms. Gorbachev himself was placed under house arrest, while the coup leaders began dismantling his reforms. However, the reaction of the Russian public was one of hostility. Instead of supporting the coup, the Russian people overwhelmingly supported Yeltsin and/or Gorbachev, through mass civil disobedience against the hardline usurpers. When the coup leaders ordered the Red Army to storm the parliament of the Russian Federation, Yeltsin climbed a tank, rallied the crowds, and the army indeed refused their orders. "Providence", which may or may not be Andy's clumsily-disguised way of saying "God", had nothing to do with it (and we must ask why "Providence" intervened in this case, but did nothing to save all those demonstrators killed between 1986-1991). This effectively ended the coup - the leaders were rounded up and Gorbachev returned to power. But with the Union breaking apart and the Russians backing Yeltsin, Gorbachev had no practical power left.
Following the coup, the remaining member-states of the USSR declared independence, leaving only Russia. In December 1991, the Belavheza Accords founded the Commonwealth of Independent States, the de facto successor to the Union. Under the Accords, Russia took on all of the USSR's international affairs, such as United Nations membership and control of the Soviet nuclear arsenal. With the USSR dead in all but name, Gorbachev and Yeltsin met in the small hours of Christmas Day, 1991. Gorbachev resigned as General-Secretary of the USSR (not President, as Andy claims - that was an entirely seperate office, and one not held by Gorbachev) and declared the Soviet government dead. Having signed the document, the two clinked vodka glasses and watched from a Kremlin window as the hammer and sickle flag was lowered for the last time, and the tricolore of the Russian Federation raised.
And that was it. That was the end of the Soviet Union, one of the superpowers of the twentieth century and one of the most historically important states, societies - hell, even civilisations - in history.Nice eulogy you gave it there, Andy. Remind me never to get you to speak at a funeral.
|By then, Russia and the other newly independent republics had formed a federation to replace the Soviet Union, known as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). All joined except for the Baltic republics and Georgia, a large former Soviet state not to be confused with the American state of Georgia.||Ohh, a bit of convenient geographical distinction. Thanks for that, Andy. Well, at least New Jersey wasn't mentioned...|
|After Gorbachev resigned, Yeltsin brought free enterprise to Russia. He ended price controls, cut taxes, stopped subsidizing government-controlled industries and reduced trade barriers. Churches opened and flourished. The people of Leningrad changed the name of their city back to St. Petersburg. Critics of Yeltsin complained about inflation and the loss of jobs, and organized crime became a problem without the KGB controlling everything. But the Russian people were not going back to communism. Today Russia has lower taxes than the United States.||After Gorbachev resigned, Yeltsin brought free enterprise to Russia - and mass poverty ensued. In 1991 some 1.4% of the Russian population were in poverty. By 1993, it was almost 50%. The sudden emergence of capitalism made hyper-rich trillionaires, most of whom promptly gathered up their assets and went to piss it up against the wall in London and New York, while the Russian people faced the complete collapse of public services such as health, education, and infrastructure; mass inflation, widespread job losses, rampant crime, skyrocketing death rates, and the transformation of the Soviet Empire into a third-world nation more or less overnight. Little wonder that during the 1990s, Russia became almost fascist in its nationalism. Things have been a lot, lot better since Putin came to power - although whether he is actually responsible for improvement, or just happened to coincide with improvements that were happening anyway - is debatable. And Russia is not exactly a free country today. Andy may sigh for Russian-style low taxes, but they come at the cost of government corruption, fierce nationalism, and an illiberal version of democracy.|
|Muslim-dominated Chechnya in southwest Russia became a difficult issue for Yeltsin. In 1991, it declared its independence from Russia, but Yeltsin suppressed that by sending troops to Grozny, its capital city. Resistance by the Chechens was intense, and the troops were initially withdrawn. But a bloody civil war has ensued for over a decade, including hostage-takings and, in 2004, the Chechen rebels seized a large school near Chechnya and killed over 300 of the children and teachers.||Oh great, Andy. Reduce the Chechen Conflict to two specific incidents. Why the emphasis on the Beslan School Crisis? Perhaps he isn't aware that there was actually a war - the First Chechen War - from 1994 to 1996, in which civil war and a threatened Chechen invasion of Dagestan (part of the Federation) prompted the Russians to respond with military force. Some 7,500 Russian troops, 15,000 Chechen insurgents, and 30-100,000 Chechen civilians were killed; while some 500,000 people became refugees. The Second Chechen War of 1999-2009, prompted by the threatened Chechen invasion of Russian Dagestan, resulted in a further 7,500 Russian and Chechen loyalist deaths, some 16,000 Chechen rebel deaths, and perhaps 75,000 civilian deaths. The Chechen Conflict is another of those cheerful little escapades in which the polite civilisation of the modern world descends overnight into execution squads, lynchings, torture, and endless rows of hastily-dug graves. But does Andy mention this? Does he fuck. All he seems to care about is whining about Muslims. He's no stranger to citing death tolls - we all recall his specific mention of the 18 American soldiers killed in Somalia in 1993 - but when it comes to the big numbers, or anyone who isn't American or Israeli, Andy just doesn't seem to care. What a ****ing ****** excuse of a ***** *****ing **** he is.....|
|The fall of communism in the Soviet Union really began in the Eastern European “satellite” countries of communism, initially in Poland and Hungary. In 1978, the Roman Catholic Church elected the first non-Italian pope in many centuries, elevating a Polish cardinal who had been active in the anticommunist movement in his homeland of Poland. Pope John Paul II then became a leader and hero to his countrymen in Poland, which is nearly 100% Catholic. Another Polish leader, Lech Walesa, led a strike against a shipyard in Gdansk in 1980, demanding government recognition for his labor union called Solidarity. The Polish communist government was weak at this time and vacillated in its response, but in 1981 it cracked down on Solidarity and imposed marital law throughout the country. A popular anticommunist priest was then murdered. An assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, also thought to have been organized by communists, injured but did not kill him.||Andy is correct that the fall of communism began in Eastern Europe. So why didn't he put this section prior to the one on the USSR? At least Andy's right about John Paul II being the first non-Italian pope since Adrian VI in the 1520s. He's even right - astonishingly - that John Paul II was highly influential in the Polish nationalist movement opposed to Soviet control. Note Andy's delicious misspelling - apparently the Reds imposed "marital" law. We can only assume that he means "martial" law. Or maybe the commies did indeed reshuffle the Polish government to create a cabinet of civil-suit lawyers...|
|As conflict worsened in Poland, Pope John Paul II visited the country and attracted literally millions of supporters. At one point, he stood at the podium with the communist-installed leader and lectured him about respecting the dignity and freedom of the Polish people. The communist leader trembled in front of the huge crowd. When the Soviet Union threatened to crack down on the Polish people, the Pope declared that he would respond by returning to Poland to fight on the front lines against the communists.||It's unclear which visit Andy is referring to here, as the Pope made three visits to the Peoples' Republic of Poland during its existence - in 1978, 1983, and 1987. It's also unclear which President or Prime Minister of Poland he is referring to, as there were no less than seven Prime Ministers and two Presidents - Henryk Jabłoński and Wojciech Jaruzelski - spanning those visits. So how can Andy know that the "communist leader trembled", if he doesn't even know who the leader was? Oh, of course. He pulled this factoid out of his arse... Anyway, why's Andy singing the praises of the Pontiff? Don't Calvinist Protestant cult-members (who claim to be Christian, but couldn't be further from it) like Andy despise the Catholic Church? And especially John Paul II. After all, he supported (cue scary music)... GAY RIGHTS... SOCIALIZZM... and... EVILOOSHUN...|
|In April 1989, the Polish government allowed free elections for the first time since World War II, and the people elected Lech Walesa as president and his group Solidarity swept into office. Communism was defeated. The fall of communism in Poland had this great effect: the new Christian-based government banned abortion. Abortion rates in the communist Soviet Union had been several times higher than the rest of the world.||Oh Christ. Abortion. That's right, Andy - of all the things to mention on the transition of government in Poland - hell, the beginning of the end for Soviet communism - mention bloody abortion. And look at the phrasing here. "The fall of communism in Poland had this great effect:" Why does Andy write in such a shitty way? And as for abortion being higher in the USSR than other countries (anyway, isn't this section meant to be on Poland rather than the USSR?), we'd like some supporting evidence. It was certainly high, but higher than anywhere else? Come on Andy; couldn't you have dreamed up a Schlafly Statistic for this one...?|
|Hungary, the same country that attempted to overthrow communism in 1956, immediately followed Poland’s lead. In October 1989, opponents of the Communist Party took it over and dissolved it. A new constitution allowed for national elections in 1990, and the people defeated the communists in power. Hungary embraced some free enterprise and started a stock market. But like much of Eastern Europe, socialists remained powerful and in 1994 they crept back into power and raised taxes. Today Hungary is a mixture of socialism and free enterprise.||Ugh. What Andy means is that in Hungary, the Communist Party membership in the late 1980s began to be dominated by reformist Communism, rather than the traditional Stalinist style. Free elections led to increasing political competition with nationalist movements, and , as discussed earlier, Gorbachev kept the USSR from meddling in Hungarian affairs. Upon gaining independence - with the concomitant consequence of the USSR withdrawing all support - Hungary's economy collapsed and national living standards saw a sudden and severe decline. Mass dissatisfaction then prompted the Socialist Party to gain a democratic majority, whereupon economic links began to be forged with the European Union in order tostimulate production and raise living standards back to at least their Soviet level. This is what happened in reality, yet Andy makes it sound as though the Reds sneaked into the Parliament Building in the dark, before making him cry by raising taxes. Sigh...|
|Hungary helped end communism in East Germany, which was the most brutal of the communist regimes. Hungary opened its border to allow East Germans to emigrate into Austria, from where they could escape entirely. As East Germans began to leave in droves, the communist leader Erich Honecker closed the border. But demonstrations broke out in October 1989, which not even the ruthless Honecker could control. He resigned and his successor, Egon Krenz, reacted by opening the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. East Germans then poured into West Berlin and tore down the wall entirely. By the end of the year communism was defeated in East Germany, and within a year it was reunited with West Germany to form one nation of Germany under West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Germans expect that it will take an entire generation (30-40 years) to bring the formerly communist section up to the prosperity of the free West Germany.||"Most brutal". This is entirely subjective. Still, at least Andy attempts to establish a hierarchy of iniquity, rather than assuming that all non-Republican ferrin guvvimints are drunken orgies whereby kitten-eating atheists murder foetuses by beating up women with copies of Origin of Species. And at least he mentions the Berlin Wall instead if wandering off onto abortion again. Finally, Stasi-Kaptain Andy advises us that all Germans have the same gloomy economic forecast. Great work there, Comrade.|
|Other Eastern European countries then wanted the same freedom from communism. In Czechoslovakia, demonstrations forced the Communist Party leader Milos Jakes to resign in November 1989, and he was replaced by Vaclav Havel. In 1993, the country split along ethnic lines to form Slovakia and the Czech Republic, caused in part by economic difficulties in the conversion from communism to free enterprise.||Ooh, Andy mentions more foreign names! Apparently the men and women who brought down communism in Hungary, though, didn't have names. That's rather extreme anarcho-communism; a society without names... Anyway, the split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia has sweet sod-all to do with the transition from communism and capitalism. Czechoslovakia was a hybrid country when it was formed from the ashes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. Czechs and Slovaks agitated for separation from that point onwards, but under Nazi and Soviet occupation, the hybrid was maintained. Politics, as Andy ought to know, is oftentimes a lot more important than economics...|
|Next came Romania, which had been ruled for decades by the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Massive demonstrations against his rule in December 1989 caused the army to join the people, and they captured Ceausescu as he attempted to flee with his wife. They were executed on Christmas Day; the timing suggests that the revolutionaries were perhaps not any better. But at least free elections began in 1990.||The Romanian Revolution was the sole violent uprising in Eastern Europe at the time. Ceauşescu was a hugely unpopular leader - so much so, that when he made his famous speech on 21st December 1989 to appeal for calm, the Party had to ship in "supporters" who were essentially factory workers told to cheer or lose their jobs. Ceauşescu's speech was a disaster; on live television, he was shown hesitating, stammering, and muttering to himself as the crowd chanted anti-communist slogans. When the immense crowd was fired upon by security forces, an immense riot broke out in central Bucharest, with the TV footage encouraging urban populations across the country to also rise up. Ceauşescu ordered the army to crack down - which they did - but the next day the Minister of Defence ordered all troops back to their barracks and had Ceauşescu and his wife evacuated by helicopter as the crowds stormed his palace - he barely made it. When the helicopter pilot also defected and landed the chopper, the Ceauşescus tried to flee in passing cars but were tricked into hiding in an apparent safehouse, and arrested within hours. It was indeed on Christmas Day that the dictator and his wife were tried by a kangaroo court and shot, but the timing of it had nothing to do with making an anti-religious statement as Andy implies. It just so happened that the Revolution was in late December. Coincidence, nothing more.|
|Ceausescu opposed abortion, unlike most communists. Ceausescu’s ban on abortion there had helped avoid many of the health problems caused by abortion. Romanians had the lowest incidence of women’s breast cancer in the Western world, far lower than the United States. In 1990, American families rushed to Romania to adopt babies who were available for adoption there. But after Ceausescu was overthrown and abortion was legalized, Romania began promoting abortion. The abortion-related health problem of breast cancer then skyrocketed.||Christ on His CROSS!!! How many times?? Of all the piss-brained Republican propaganda which Andy has shovelled into this Lecture series, abortion has been the least noticeable. He must have finally realised this, as he is here making up for it by cramming abortion into a section on the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Twice. And this one is actually a standalone paragraph!! Jesus Christ. Note his pissing, self-adulatory claim that it was them thar e-Murrikans who saved all them dirty ferrin atheist babies. Nice. Oh, and it's worth noting that in an attempt to make his Lecture better, Andy actually claimed that a dire consequence of the Romanian Revolution was that Americans could no longer adopt babies. Brilliant, Andy. Just f***ing brilliant. Whose side is he on, here? The Revolutionaries, or Ceauşescu's...?|
|The collapse of the communist dictatorship exposed underlying ethnic and religious conflict, particularly in Yugoslavia. Its dictator, Marshall Tito (real name Josip Broz), ruled with an iron fist from 1945 to 1980, and the different ethnic groups could not fight each other as he suppressed all conflict. He also insisted on some independence from the Soviet Union, and Stalin expelled him from the Soviet bloc in 1948. Tito was succeeded in power by the Serb Slobodan Milosevic, which caused Slovenia and Croatia to seek independence due to their different ethnicity. In June 1991, the Yugoslavian army attempted to suppress these independence movements.||After that little trip down the rabbit-hole, we need a drink. Go pour yourself a plum brandy. A Šljivovica, or a nice Kruškovac. Believe me, you'll need it. Here Andy is at least right that Tito ruled Yugoslavia oppressively, and had autonomy from the USSR. Indeed, he was a prominent figure in the Non-Aligned Movement, and neither NATO nor the USSR muscled in on Yugoslavia as they found it geopolitically and diplomatically convenient to have a buffer state in the Balkans. Yugoslavia under Tito was harsh but economically prosperous, yet upon his death serious tensions were exposed.
Under Tito, Serbs had dominated the government, the bureaucracy, military officer corps, and civilian elite. Other nationalities in the country were under-represented; the South was economically backward (which angered the Croats in the north); the government was up to its eyes in debt owed to the World Bank and IMF; and such was the nationalist tension between Yugoslavia's constituent federal states that upon Tito's death, Croatia and Slovenia became independent, self-governing states in all but name. As had happened in Eastern Europe and was unfolding in the USSR, different nationalities sought to break away and form their own nation-states. Unfortunately, they couldn't quite agree on who should get what. When Slovenia and Croatia held referenda in late 1990, and broke away in early 1991, a precedent was set for the dissolution of the country. Macedonia and Bosnia later followed suit, but prior to their secession, Milošević and his goons indeed sent in the army to bring Croatia to heel. Their justification was that the new states were merely pawns of the West, and feared further secessions if they allowed Croatia and Slovenia to break away. The subsequence Croatian War between the Croats and Serb-dominated Yugoslav Army was an extremely vicious and unresolved conflict, as during this time, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia also broke away. The conflict between Bosnia and Serbia quickly overshadowed the other conflicts. As the Serbs inherited almost all of the heavy weaponry and manufacturing facilities of the now-defunct Yugoslav state, the conflict between Bosnians and Serbs, Christians and Muslims (great job on ignoring that, Andy) descended rapidly into slaughter on an industrial scale. And while the former Yugoslavs were exterminating one another, the international community stood by and did nothing. The Russians were too busy trying to hold together their broken economy after the breakup of the USSR, the European Union did sweet fuck-all, while the Americans stood by on HW Bush's famous excuse that "we have no dog in this fight". By the time fighting ended temporarily in 1995, some 140,000 people had been killed, nation-states had been created and destroyed, and war crimes committed on levels unseen in Europe since the Nazis.
The breakup of Yugoslavia, c.1989-1995, was an extremely complex and extremely deadly event. And one which, predictably, Andy has completely fucked up.Shame on him.
|Bloodshed continued in Croatia as the Serbs battled the Croats. Eventually, the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervened in 1999 in what is known as the Kosovo War or Kosovo Conflict, driving Milosevic from power and forcing his trial by an international tribunal. He died of natural causes during a lengthy war crimes trial.||And now Andy has confused the Croatian War of 1991 with the Kosovo War of 1996-99. For a man who thinks he's a teacher, he either can't be arsed to find out these irritating things like facts, or else couldn't give a rat's ass about foreigners being killed. Like the NATO intervention of 1999, Andy's attempt to explain this grim period of history is a hopelessly confused, bumbling, and half-arsed effort which is at best a case of too little, too late; and at worst, a criminally incompetent excuse.|
|Ethnic conflict was even worse in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which consists of Muslims, Croats and Serbs, who are Christian. Bosnia-Herzegovina first declared its independence from Serbia, but the Christian Bosnian Serbs did not want to live under Muslim rule and a civil war began in March 1992 over whether Bosnia would split from Serbia. Anti-Christian press accused the Serbs of “ethnic cleansing,” or racially motivated mass murders, as the Serbs were allegedly killing off Bosnian Muslims. A peacekeeping army was sent by the United Nations and, in December 1995, the Muslims, Croats and Serbs signed a peace treaty. In 1996 a three-person presidency including a leader from each group was elected.||Ohh. Bosnia-Herzegovina gets a mention. We would applaud Andy for doing this, were it not for him resuscitating two of the ugliest, foulest themes which his twisted, narcissistic, and downright evil mind have concocted. Firstly, he claims that a genocide did not occur. Secondly, he warps history in order to whine about "anti-Christian" sentiment - a lie which, as we have seen, gives him carte blanche to whine that he and his sickening ilk are being persecuted. He deployed these same two tactics when discussing the European colonisation of the Americas; the Armenian Genocide, the Maafa, and the Holocaust - simultaneously claiming that they never happened (or have been blown out of all proportion by lib'rul historians), and then paradoxically using them as justification for his hatred of Muslims and his shit-for-brains, Munchausen-by-Proxy, persecution-complex, mental masturbatory fantasies wherein he wanks himself into a coma over the thought of being a martyr for his God and Party.
The Breakup of Yugoslavia and the establishment of new states, c.1989-2006, was anything but a pretty affair. Part civil war, part religious crusade, neighbours and families tore each other and themselves apart in the name of false nationalism, constructed identity, and warped versions of history. Genocide, democide, urbicide, war crimes, mass graves, concentration camps - all of these were features of a ghastly nightmare which enveloped the Balkans while the uninterested world, the apathetic NATO alliance, and the powerless United Nations all shrugged and looked away. By the time the fighting ended some two hundred thousand people had been killed, whole towns destroyed, and a geopolitical Gordian Knot created which will see tensions in the Balkans simmering away for decades, perhaps centuries to come.
For Andy to ignore all of this, instead whining about his persecution complex and snarling at abortion, he is worse than useless. Not simply as a teacher, but as a human being. He's not merely a shit teacher. He is an abhorrent man.
On behalf of all who have died, are dying, and will continue to die -
Andrew Layton Schlafly, go fuck yourself.Preferably with a hand grenade.
Controversy of the United Nations Troops
|The conflict in Bosnia caused the United Nations (U.N.) to send troops, including American soldiers, into the region in 1995. Michael G. New was an American soldier who objected to wearing United Nations insignia as part of his military uniform during a deployment to the nearby Republic of Macedonia as part of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force. Michael New objected to changing his allegiance from the United States to the U.N. When Michael New enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 1993, he took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and no recruiter or officer mentioned serving under U.N. command.||I had to reread this section twice over, to make sure that my eyes weren't deceiving me. This is supposed to be a Lecture on global history c.1945-1999, and this has appeared.
What the FUCK is this, and what the FUCK is it doing here??
This entire segment is detailing one man. And the man in question is not a President or a Prime Minister; neither King nor dictator; nor even a scientist or celebrity. It is, instead, three paragraphs devoted to some random squaddie who is so frigging obscure he wouldn't be in any book, and doesn't appear on the internet outside of right-wing extremist websites and Conservapedia itself (those other websites, it must be noted, are not particularly pleasant - it says a lot for Andy's politics when he has devoted a segment of his Lecture to a darling of the right-wing militia movement). Bear in mind that Andy didn't even mention the Congo Crisis and the two Congo Wars, in which some twenty million people died - twice the death toll of the First World War - yet he has apparently deemed ONE SOLDIER worthy of THREE PARAGRAPHS in what is supposed to be a WORLD HISTORY lecture.
Whoever this dickhead is, he's not worthy of mention. We're by now resigned to Andy trotting out random historical figures and waxing lyrical about them for paragraphs at a time, but at least up until now they've been important people - Martin Luther, Alexander the Great, Charles Darwin, Charlemagne, etc. Well, important if your view of world history is lily-white and pays no attention to darkies and foreigners. But this new hero of Andy's is just a god-damned grunt. Who gives a shit about his view of the United Nations??
I... I just despair. There really doesn't seem to be any hope for Andy. He is so out-of-touch with reality that I'm amazed he is actually able to function in human society, and has not in fact starved to death in his basement for fear of venturing out into reality.Where'd I put that Šljivovica...
|But on May 3, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD-25). This ordered submission of American troops to multilateral peace operations. In July, Michael New was assigned to Germany, 3rd Infantry Division, and his company was told it would be sent to Macedonia as part of a “peacekeeping” mission. In August 1995, Michael New was informed that his unit must wear part of the U.N. uniform. Soldier New’s position was that the order was unlawful and unconstitutional. Specifically, U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 9 prohibits any person’s acceptance of any emolument from a foreign state without congressional consent. New also argued that the entire deployment as part of a United Nations force was unlawful.||Jesus.... Look at the level of detail in this. We are given precise information on this imbecile's unit, area of deployment, rank, and even a middle initial - while more broadly, we are treated to exact dates and specific Presidential decrees. Remember that Andy couldn't even get the dates of the Croatian War and Kosovo War correct, and can't tell the difference between Charles Martel and Charlemagne. But here, he has actually bothered to do research. Bravo, Andy. Your best work, on what is by far the worst and most pointless piece of shit that's been shovelled into this cesspit of a series.
Whoever this soldier was, he's a bloody moron. It is not the position of soldiers to question their superiors on wearing United Nations insignia when attached to international peacekeeping (note how Andy uses inverted commas for that word - I wonder what that signifies) forces. There is no such thing as a "U.N. uniform". As Andy has noted, it's a patch on the sleeve. And maybe a blue helmet. One helmet and one patch do not a uniform make... Oh, and as for Private New's twattery, the law which he and Andy cite is irrelevant in this case. As it says in Andy's own words, the article prohibits "acceptance of emolument from a foreign state without congressional [sic] consent". Operation Allied Harmony - the US peacekeeping operation in Macedonia had Congressional consent; the United Nations is not a foreign state; and Private New's salary would have been paid by the US Government as usual. As for New's argument that the deployment was unlawful, that is his opinion - and one which is directly contradicted by international law. So he can go fuck himself. With Andy.It says a lot about Andy's opinions that he chooses to include all of this information, even though it is clearly an indefensible case. And that's coming from a cartographer. Andy is a Harvard-educated lawyer. He should know a hopeless case when he sees one. Like when he looks in the mirror every morning.
|The military judge and American courts all rejected New’s arguments and held that the legality of the deployment was a "non-justiciable" political question that could not be handled by a judge, and which could only be handled by a political branch of government (such as Congress or the President).||Aww, poor Michael New. He got such dreadful treatment! There, there. Andy-Pandy will kiss it better!
Christ, if I had questioned orders from above back when I was in the military, I wouldn't have got anything like this. On the first instance of disobedience or insubordination, my Sergeant would have given me twenty-five press-ups on the spot and then had me running laps of the parade ground - in full kit - until I collapsed in a heap. Had I started quoting him Queens' Regulations or bloody international treaties a second time, my whole squad would have been on punishment duties (his particular favourite was making us polish the bloody huge Victorian howitzer with our next day's underwear) designed to make sure I'd get a thorough kicking in the barracks from my mates. It would only be if, after one or two rounds of that, I was stupid enough to whinge about government-level decisions on allied military strategy for a third time, that an officer would even be notified. And in the excruciatingly unlikely event that the Lieutenant actually gave a shit, a military judge would throw it out before even finishing the first page. Either Private New had a particularly nice and career-unconscious Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major, and Colonel (and barrack-mates nice enough to not kick seven shades of shit out of him each night for putting his platoon on punishment duties) who allowed him to go through the chain of command until a judge was sensible enough to tell him to go fuck himself; or the US Army is a hotbed of anti-UN sentiment; or Andy and his conspiratorial colleagues are talking shit. No prizes for guessing which one I'm putting my money on...That has to have been the most bizarre journey yet into the rabbit-hole of Andy's mind. And one of the most depressing. At first we might have been forgiven for thinking that Andy was going to whine about Oil for Food, or the numerous cases of rape, extortion, theft, and murder by soldiers while wearing blue helmets. But instead it's about a frigging right-wing darling who is so unremarkable that he doesn't even have a Wikipedia reference - and for someone who appears in a history Lecture, that's low. Here, Andy has performed the highest-quality research we've seen so far. What a shame, then, that it is so utterly, utterly inconsequential.
|In 1978, Deng Xiaoping succeeded Mao and Zhou as dictator in China. He was more friendly to capitalism and the West, and began a program called the Four Modernizations. He abolished communes and began leasing land to farmers who could work the land for personal profit. He permitted private businesses and some foreign investment in special economic zones (SEZs). He promoted tourism and sent many Chinese teenagers to the West to be educated in Western colleges. But when Chinese students sought greater freedoms and democracy, Deng brutally suppressed them by sending tanks to Tiananmen Square to massacre hundreds of demonstrators on June 4, 1989.||Andy's already waxed lyrical about Deng Xiaoping - he devoted a chunk of his previous Lecture to singing the praises of his reformist communism (although Comrade Schlafly couldn't bring himself to call it that). So why is he here again? Sigh. At least Andy doesn't wander off onto bitching about Western universities. Those commie Chinese, in his warped little mind, must be in a home from home - because as we all know, all universities and the whole of China are nightmares of abortion-promoting, Bible-burning, kitten-eating Satanism.
Andy's version of the Tiananmen Square massacre is remarkably close to reality. Disaffected by poor job opportunities, government corruption, inflation, and encouraged by the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, Chinese students indeed staged a mass protest at Tiananmen Square. Initially the Party actually gave in - restrictive laws on the press were relaxed, state television was permitted to broadcast footage of the protests and hunger strikers; and negotiations began to improve state welfare for those unable to get a job. But when a state visit by Gorbachev on 15th May - the first Sino-Soviet meeting since the days of Khrushchev and Mao - was used as a ralling-point for anti-communist demonstrations in Beijing and other cities, the Party indeed decided to crack down. Premier Li Peng declared martial law on 20th May and the next week the army was sent in. Tiananmen Square itself was cleared without incident (the famous "Tank Man" incident was not on Tiananmen Square, but nearby), but in the streets and squares of central Beijing a riot broke out, with troops being beaten to death and burned alive by protestors, and protestors being machine-gunned en masse by the army. As this was in the immediate aftermath of Gorbachev's visit, the international media were present in Beijing and footage of what was happening was broadcast around the world, to the diplomatic detriment of Li Peng and the Party.It has never been revealed how many people died between late May and early June in central Beijing; estimates range from the low hundreds to the upper thousands - but the Peoples' Commissar for Truethink, Andrew Schlafly, appears to be taking the Party line in insisting on a low number. The aftermath of Tiananmen Square was a mixed bag - attempts by Party hardliners to crack down on the emerging free markets and political liberalisation were met with a mixture of fierce opposition and fawning adulation from the Party membership. It is still a divisive issue today, and arguably contributed to the still-growing split between Party apparatchiks in Beijing and the rank-and-file membership outside the capital.
|Jiang Zemin succeeded Deng when he died in 1997. He refused to improve China’s record on human rights, and Christianity and democracy remain suppressed there. Moreover, China has armed itself in preparation for a war with the United States, pointing many nuclear missiles at California.||That's right Andy, cry about Christianity being suppressed. Of course, Andy doesn't give a rat's ass about foreigners - none of whom are True Christians™ because they're not members of the Republican Party of the United States - instead he is undoubtedly saying this simply to add fuel to his martyrdom desires. By whining that Christianity is suppressed, he can claim that he is being oppressed. Yeah, Andy. Fundamentalist Christians in America are so oppressed. Christians in Imperial Rome being thrown to the lions, or tortured to death in the arenas for the enjoyment of the crowds? Bah! They had it easy! Renaissance Orthodox Greeks being gang-raped and burned alive by Ottoman soldiers? At least they were warm! Fundamentalist twat-bags in the Digital-Age USA being politely asked not to erect a Nativity scene on public land? WAR CRIMES!!!! And what the bloody hell is this claim that China is pointing missiles at California?! Where the HELL did this come from?? And why the hell would Andy care? Isn't California a festering pit of lib'rulism, Hollywood Values, illegal immigration, mincing queers, and (gulp) atheism - all under the despotic control of that foreign RINO, Herr Schwarzenegger? We'd have thought that were the Chinese mushrooms to start sprouting over San Francisco, Andy would be clapping his soft, uncalloused, lily-white hands in glee.|
|On July 1, 1997, Great Britain’s lease on Hong Kong expired and Britain returned its former colony to China, which promised to allow Hong Kong to remain capitalistic for another 50 years.||Bloody hell. So that's it? The history of the People's Republic of China, c.1978-2012, is reduced to a snippet about Tiananmen Square, a bit of obligatory scaremongering about the Yellow Peril, and a single sentence about Hong Kong? That obscure dullard, Michael New, got more text than the billion inhabitants of China. It's... it's... I mean.... Why does Andy even bother...|
|"Latin America" includes Spanish America and Brazil, where Portuguese is the primary language. In other words, Latin America is all of America south of the United States, other than the Caribbean islands. Latin America is thus Mexico, Central and South America. It has 523 million people, far more than the U.S. population of about 300 million.||Now what's going on? Why is Andy treating us to Victorian-style regional geography? And demographics? Why didn't he tell us this for any of the other blocs he's just been talking about? We can only presume that he has either got nothing to say about Latin America, or else is trundling out big numbers in order to put the fear of God into his homeschooled troglodytes that the US of A is on the brink of being overrun by ferriners.|
|The nations of Latin America had won their political independence from European powers long before the 20th century. But they have struggled in becoming economically independent. It was not until the middle of the 20th century that Latin American nations began to export manufactured goods in addition to minerals and food. In the 1970s and 1980s, huge debts to foreign powers combined with a depression caused severe economic problems. Some blame lending policies of developed nations and their organizations, such as the World Bank, for causing this debt crisis. After much loan forgiveness and an improved worldwide economy, Latin American nations had stronger economies and less dependence on foreign powers by the end of the 20th century.||Brilliant. So in a section on the late twentieth century, Andy is talking about the nineteenth century. Bravo. This is an abysmal section. Andy makes vast, sweeping generalisations about an entire continent without bothering to go into any sort of attempt at detail and specificity, befoe crying about lib'rul condemnation of free trade, and finally placing a halo around Uncle Sam's head for "forgiving" debt. Again, Andy - why even bother...?|
|In one of the largest Latin American countries, Mexico, the rule of President Lazaro Cardenas from 1934 to 1940 redistributed land from the wealthy to peasants. He also forced foreign investors to give up control over Mexican oil wells.||Ohh, great! A name! From... the 1930s. Dragged up purely to bitch about redistribution of wealth and those dirty foreigners wanting control of their own resources. How dare they! It's so tragic y'know, when we non-Americans refuse to accept Uncle Sam's Heavenly Mandate over the entire planet. Tsk tsk. Downright naughty of us. Perhaps Mexico hasn't actually had a government since 1940, otherwise the Omniscient Omnissiah, Señor Schlafly, would have told us all about it. Wouldn't he...?|
|The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI for its Spanish initials) controlled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, when Vicente Fox of PAN (Partido Accion Nacional) was elected president. The PRI was known for corruption and acting on behalf of wealthy Mexicans.||Hey, I was wrong! Mexico has indeed had a government since 1940! But apparently there was no President between 1940 and 2000. Probably because the government was so corrupt, its members just sat around drinking and whoring, pissing public funds up against the wall, and didn't bother to, erm, keep records. Yeah. Andy can't be wrong, after all. This seems much more plausible.|
|In another large Latin American nation, Argentina, the military has long controlled the government. The most popular military ruler was Colonel Juan Peron, who was elected in 1946. He became known for his “popular dictatorship.” His wife, Eva Peron, was even more popular for her tremendous charisma. Juan Peron ruled for over a decade, and brought industrialization and working class values to the nation. He limited foreign ownership. But critics felt Peron infringed too much on civil liberties. He was deposed in 1955 but came back briefly in the 1970s. In 1982, the military rulers of Argentina attempted to take the Falkland Islands, which are located off its shores in the Atlantic Ocean, from the British. The British fought back with the help of American intelligence and regained control of the islands.||Oh go fuck yourself, Andy. Look at the tone here - he's practically reaching orgasm over the thought of that fascist bastard Perón. A man who suspended parliamentary procedure, shut down the universities, banned opponent parties, protected Nazi war criminals, and fought the long "Dirty War" against his own people for the better part of a decade; during which his secret police executed between 9,000 and 30,000 Argentinians, most after severe torture to reveal the names of associates and accomplices. Oh, and members of the clergy were complicit in this. Thirty thousand people kidnapped, tortured, and executed on the orders of Perón. And Andy can't praise him highly enough.
Juan Perón was an utter cunt, South America's answer to Hitler, Mugabe, or Stalin. And for Andy to sing the man's praises is testament either to how little Andrew Schlafly knows about history - in which case he is not qualified to teach a nursery school, let alone teenagers - or just how evil the man's politics are.
And to cap it all, Andy completely ignores the rest of Latin America (apparently Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, French Guiana, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama - not to mention the thirty or so independent nations of the Caribbean - don't exist. Also, apparently the British only won the Falklands War due to Uncle Sam; when in truth the Americans kept out of the war for fear of antagonising the Russians (where's your anti-communist rhetoric now, Andy?). And on that note, we abruptly end.
This has been a very, very tiresome Lecture. It started out with the promise of onlyu two themes - the Cold War and independence movements - but rapidly bogged down into a foul morass of propaganda, revisionism, crass oversights, sweeping generalisations, and outright lies. Perhaps more than any other Lecture yet, this one has given insights into the nightmare of a Fundafascist mind. It's really quite depressing. And what makes it even more depressing is that, earlier this week, I went to the Faculty office to collect my undergraduate exams for marking. While flicking through, I spotted that one of them has cited Conservapedia. I kid you not. In a university-level exam on economic geography, a student has cited Conservapedia. Perhaps they read these analyses and have worked out who I am - which isn't hard to do, considering there aren't exactly a lot of mohawk-wearing black bodybuilders in the world of British academic geography - but given the levels of piss-poor political drivel that I usually get from the right-wing students, what is infinitely more likely is that they have independently come across Andy's hate-blog and consider it worthy of reference. Never mind the red pen. I might have to mark it with a flamethrower.
I'm off to the gym now to knock the living shit out of the punchbags. And not simply because it's that time of year to start cutting back down to 5% bodyfat in time for the next contest. But because that's the only effective therapy after enduring this journey through what, according to a depressing number of parents and students, is considered a suitable education in the themes and concepts of human history - and which is now seeping across into real academia.
- The term “parallel” in terms of geography means the same as “degrees of latitude.”
- Today the term “developing world” is preferred by some to the term of “Third World.” Traditionally, the “First World” was the highly industrialized capitalistic societies of Europe, Japan, and the United States, and the “Second World” was the less developed nations under communism.