Posts Tagged 'imperialism'

Mulitple Colonialism in Moroland

Mindanao

Julkipli Wadi, in the book The Moro Reader, writes:

It can be said thus that there are, at least, four major strings of control that operate in the Moroland; namely: (1) U.S. colonialism (historical, unclosed); (2) Philippine colonialism (direct; relative to Moros); (3) multilateral colonialism (geopolitical, strategic and economic interests; corporate globalization); and (4) current U.S. colonialism (war on international terrorism; “second coming”)…What can be generally stated this time is that when the Philippine Republic took over in 1946, the status of Moros became “neocolonial” with respect to the Philippines but “doubly colonial” in relation to the Philippines and the United States.  It is because when the United States absolved Moros’ sovereignty and transferred it arbitrarily to Filipinos in 1946 and even earlier, the Philippine Independence did not necessarily close American colonialism in Mindanao and Sulu.  What happened is that the mode of U.S. control was simply transfered to Filipinos and thence became indirect and continued to operate by proxy. (Wadi, 22)

Source

Wadi, Julkipli, “Multiple Colonialism in Moroland” in The Moro Reader: History and Contemporary Struggles of the Bangsamoro People.  Edited by Tuazon Bobby M and Oscar Evangelista.  Philippines: CenPEG Books, 2008.

Ho Chi Minh on Readdressing Strategy

Ho Chi Minh

On July 15th 1954 Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) addressed the Sixth Plenum of the Viet Nam Workers’ Party Central Committee on negotiating peace with the French colonial forces.  He took up a pragmatic and strategic stand of setting up a cease fire in order to bring about an eventual socialist revolution.  Obviously negotiations didn’t work but Ho still left all avenues open in the short term (while still protecting long term goals):

Our previous motto was ‘Resistance to the end’.  At present we must put forward a new one: ‘Peace, unity, independence, democracy’.  We must take firm hold of the banner of peace to oppose the US imperialists’ policy of direct interference in, and prolongation and expansion of, the war in Indochina.  Our policy must change in consequence: formerly we confiscated the French imperialists’ properties; now, as negotiations are going on, we may, in accordance with the principle of equality and mutual benefit, allow French economic and cultural interests to be preserved in Indochina.  Negotiations entail reasonable mutual concessions.  Formerly we said we would drive out and wipe out all French aggressive forces; now, in the talks held, we have demanded, and the French have accepted, that a date be set for the withdrawal of their troops.  In the past, our aim was to wipe out the puppet administration and army with a view to national reunification; now we practice a policy of leniency and seek reunification of the country through nationwide elections. (Ho, 135)

The elections for reunification were opposed by the puppet forces in the south and the United States.

Source

Ho Chi Minh.  Ho Chi Minh: Down With Colonialism! New York: Verso, 2007.

W. E. B. Du Bois on Imperialist Hypocrisy

W.E.B. Du Bois

In an essay titled “The Souls of White Folk,” written in 1920, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote:

Conceive this nation, of all human peoples, engaged in a crusade to make the “World Safe for Democracy”! Can you imagine the United States protesting against Turkish atrocities in Armenia, while the Turks are silent about mobs in Chicago and St. Louis; what is Louvain compared with Memphis, Waco, Washington, Dyersburg, and Estill Springs?  In short, what is the black man but America’s Belgium, and how could America condemn in Germany that which she commits, just as brutally, within her own borders? (Du Bois, 926)

Source

Du Bois, W. E. B.  Writings.  New York: The Library of America, 1986.

Imperialist History and Muslim Mindanao

AFP in Lanao del Sur, Mindanao

Michael Hawkins writes about U.S. imperialist history of Muslim Mindanao in the southern region of the Philippines.  He wrote that the Americans:

‘believed they could explore and conquer this space through translation: establishing correspondence could make the unknown and the strange knowable’. (Hawkins, 413)

In order to subjectify the Muslim regions the U.S. took part in an imperialist history for itself to justify its actions and also negotiated with area leaders and split up the region into different administrations and also classified the peoples among “biological” lines.

Many liberals in the United States also used Moro slavery as an excuse to invade and “civilize” Muslim Mindanao:

The problem, however, was that ‘slavery’ in the Philippines failed to conform to many of the Americans’ contemporary or historic notions of the institution.  (420)

But, at the same time, a complex servitude system in Mindanao:

risked compromising the Moros’ ‘primitiveness’ and the indefinite nature of the colonial project…(422)

Overall, this complex American imperialist history of Muslim Mindanao postulated:

imperialism as a necessary evil…address[ing] all of the inherently disruptive and disturbing aspects of imperial rule while simultaneously maintaining the accepted inevitability of historicist transition that legitimated colonial possession.  It was here, somewhere between the ‘ends’ and the ‘means’, that American imperialists in Mindanao and Sulu wrestled with their imperial subjects, and with themselves, over the meaning and consequences of imperial historicism. (428)

One can see a parallel with this and many liberals and conservatives in America wrestling with the issues of Iraq.  There are competing histories of the invasion, it was for oil, it was for power, it was did get rid of a tyrant, to empower the Shi’as, to spread democracy, etc.  One of the consequences is that even opponents of the war no see “a need” for America to stay in Iraq in order for the “inevitable historicist transition” of a freer Iraq to take place.

Oh, and by the way, the U.S. military is still occupying Mindanao after all these years.

Protestors

Source

Hawkins, Michael.  “Imperial historicism and American military rule in the Philippines’ Muslim south.”  Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 39, no. 3 (October, 2008): 411-29.


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