June 04, 2007

Some Races Are Just Not as Good as Others

Our troops did the job they were asked to do. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They conducted the search for weapons of mass destruction. They gave the Iraqi people a chance for elections and to have a government. It is the Iraqis who have failed to take advantage of that opportunity. -- Hillary Clinton, New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate, June 3, 2007
It would be better to abandon this combined garden and Gibraltar of the Pacific [i.e., the Philippines] ... than to apply any academic arrangement of self-government to these children. They are not capable of self-government. How could they be? They are not a self-governing race. ... What alchemy will change the oriental quality of their blood and set the self-governing currents of the American pouring through their Malay veins? How shall they, in the twinkling of an eye, be raised to the heights of self-governing people which required a thousand years for us to reach, Anglo-Saxon though we are? -- Albert Beveridge to the U.S. Senate, January 1900
I think both Senators are absolutely correct. It does not matter in the least that the United States waged criminal wars of aggression in both instances, against the Philippines over a hundred years ago, and against Iraq beginning in 2003 and continuing today.

It does not matter at all that the United States murdered hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, or that the U.S. has murdered well in excess of half a million innocent Iraqis.

It is entirely irrelevant that, in both cases, the United States destroyed many if not most functioning aspects of the countries in question and thus rendered the provision of even the most basic of services out of the question, to say nothing of the development of a working government. In the case of Iraq, it does not matter in the least that the United States deliberately and consistently made and makes a genuinely independent and strong Iraqi government impossible, since what we wanted -- and what we still want -- is a completely dependent colony, which will do precisely what we demand and only what we demand, on every question that concerns us. In no area is this more true than with regard to Iraq's oil resources -- and the insistence by the Republicans and the Democrats that the Iraqi "government" accede to the Iraqi oil law makes this fact indisputably clear. Note that the proposed law ensures that access to and disposition of the majority of Iraq's vast oil wealth will be controlled by "executives and representatives of American and other Western oil companies," and that "the Bush-backing oil barons will now have an official stranglehold on the oil of the Iraqi people."

As Patrick Cockburn wrote in making this general point:
One theme has been constant throughout the past three-and-a-half years - the Iraqi government has always been weak. For this, the US and Britain were largely responsible. They wanted an Iraqi government which was strong towards the insurgents but otherwise compliant to what the White House and Downing Street wanted. All Iraqi governments, unelected and elected, have been tainted and de-legitimised by being dependent on the US. This is as true of the government of the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today as it was when sovereignty was supposedly handed back to Iraq under the prime minister Iyad Allawi in June 2004. Real authority had remained in the hands of the US. The result was a government whose ministers could not move outside the Green Zone. They showed great enthusiasm for press conferences abroad where they breathed defiance at the insurgents and agreed with everything said by Mr Bush or Tony Blair.

The government can do nothing because it only came into existence after ministries were divided up between the political parties after prolonged negotiations. Each ministry is a bastion of that party, a source of jobs and money. The government can implement no policy because of these deep divisions. The government cannot turn on the militias because they are too strong.
None of this matters. If the Iraqis possessed anything even close to our innate moral virtue, which virtue is proved once again by the fact that we are now the world's only superpower, they would have been able to establish a functioning government by this time. Never mind the countless (and uncounted) slaughtered Iraqis, the devastation of an entire nation, or that we ourselves don't want a truly independent Iraq and never did. We gave them their chance. They weren't interested. I mean, honestly, we wanted freedom for the Iraqis more than they did. Some people just aren't civilized like we are.

As Hampton Sides writes about the U.S.'s deliberately instigated war of aggression against Mexico in the mid-nineteenth century:
The simple truth was, Polk wanted more territory. No president in American history had ever been so frank in his aims for seizing real estate. ...

Perhaps to dignify the nakedness of Polk's land lust, the American citizenry had got itself whipped into an idealistic frenzy, believing with an almost religious assurance that its republican form of government and its constitutional freedoms should extend to the benighted reaches of the continent then held by Mexico, which, with its feudal customs and Popish superstitions, stood squarely in the way of Progress. To conquer Mexico, in other words, would be to do it a favor.
We're so marvelously good that we're always doing favors for other nations by conquering them, through openly waged war or by means of covert operations. We did an immense favor for Iraq by invading and occupying it, and the Iraqis won't even offer a meaningful "thank you," the ungrateful bastards.

I think another Senator is right, too. As John Kerry said so eloquently:
For three years now, the administration has told us that terrible things will happen if we get tough with the Iraqis. In fact, terrible things are happening now because we haven't gotten tough enough.
Every person who is deeply civilized understands this very simple fact: when unspeakable barbarism, wide-scale murder and torture don't get the results you want, the solution is to employ more barbarism, murder and torture. Oh, no, some of you will whine in protest. You're a bunch of sissies. As Kerry wisely says, you're not tough enough.

If the Iraqis had anything like "the self-governing currents of the American pouring through their...veins," they would have done a lot better by this late date. Some of you don't want to hear the truth, but you ought to face it now: we are superior to every other nation that has ever existed or that now exists, and no other race is as good as ours. And please don't say that we can't even determine in any meaningful way what our "race" actually is at present. That is not the point. Anyway, you know exactly what I mean, at least you do if you're a real American. No one else is as good as we are. We have the right to tell everyone else how to live, and to tell every other country how it must conduct itself. And if they don't do what we demand, then we have the right to kill them.

This isn't hard. I don't understand why so many of you resist these very obvious truths. Grow up, for God's sake.

Excerpts from Senator Beveridge's speech, "In Support of an American Empire," will be found in this post. More about the murderous occupation of the Philippines by the U.S. will be found here.

Lengthier discussions of "American exceptionalism" and the racism which is a logically implied and inevitable part of this doctrine will be found here and here.