I was going to do something on The White Man's Burden - I found a node with a few writeups there already and suddenly couldn't decide if my addition would be worthwhile.

Kipling's quaint, racist, arrogant notion of service to his fellow man was at least noble - but it was perverted by first the British and French and then the Americans - though Americans would recognize the idea more in the words of President William McKinley speaking about our invasion of the Phillipines. It would be our purpose, said McKinley, "to take them all and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them." They were "our little brown brothers."

Should I node the King-Crane Commission Report with all the British and French bashing that would entail? How can Americans be so blind to our own history? In foreign policy we've become the imperialist British we so despised. So many peoples looked to us as a force AGAINST colonialism, a force FOR liberty and democracy, instead we chose dictators and despots and played the game of realpolitik and ignored the cost in human pain and suffering - because it wasn't our pain and suffering.

Should I detail the Kurds and their history of being mustard-gassed by the English in 1923 and the fact they are the largest ethnic group in the middle east without a homeland - not the Palestinians. That the Kurds represent a population larger than any country in the middle east save Egypt?

Should I summarize the United Nations report released today that says 6 million Afghans are on the brink of starvation and survival through the winter is likely only if they flee the country -- that nearly a million of them are completely dependent on UN and/or foreign-aid for their subsistence. And with all the US saber-rattling the UN and foreign-aid workers have left the country. We don't need to bomb Afghanistan, the economic sanctions are slowly killing their people anyway.

I don't have the energy. I'd only be preaching to the choir anyways. They must not teach Huxley's Ape and Essence in school anymore. Nationalism is still one of the world's greatest ills. Arbitrary lines on a map. I'll never figure it out. I remember fighting this same battle back in 1991. Which reminds me, I hope Steven Brust has a new book out again soon -- the two of us seemed the only inhabitants of the old SFRT on GEnie that weren't caught up in all that Desert Storm jingoism.