Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The banal rhetoric of imperialism, colonialism

The banal rhetoric of imperialism, colonialism

Al Makin, Yogyakarta | Fri, 04/08/2011 8:00 AM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post
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The current campaign waged by the US and its allies against Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s merciless dictatorship also entails a war of ideas.

Qaddafi and his followers have shielded themselves from democratic protesters with a predictable and boring rhetoric of anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism.

Libya will be occupied by the West, just as Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam were occupied! Colonial powers harbor nothing but jealousy of the Third World’s advancing wealth! Oil is at the root of every problem!

The rhetoric evokes the bitter experience of the Islamic world under a long period of Western colonialism. It is not surprising that the US and its allies have been branded as crusading armies bent on destroying their Muslim enemies.

Conspiracy theorists have already drawn analogies between colonialism and the recent Libya campaign. Some Indonesian politicians have promoted this rhetoric in public. Whether anyone wants to listen is a different issue.

Hidayat Nur Wahid, a senior politician of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), said that the goal of the current war in Libya was “to seize the nation’s oil”, adding that “European countries have suffered from an economic recession. They need new resources to revive their economy.”

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