[News] Kill them all to rescue a dying colonialism

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 13 12:15:17 EDT 2014

  Kill them all to rescue a dying colonialism

*Killing Sunnis, Shias, Salafis, Sufis, Christians, Jews, etc.

by Dr. HATEM BAZIAN <http://www.turkeyagenda.com/author/dr-hatem-bazian/>

August 12, 2014

I wanted to write this article sometime ago but events and developments 
kept intruding and my attention taken away or stolen from the critical 
into the tangential. As more events unfold and the death rates in the 
Arab and Muslim world reach catastrophic levels and the region all up in 
flames. My pen can no longer remain occupied with brush fires while the 
interests and forces shaping this calamity remain aloof and unencumbered 
by much needed insights and analysis.

We are witnessing massive killing fields across the region from 
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, 
Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Central African Republic, and 
Burma. However, the critical question is not asked, why is this taking 
place and what are the interests being served? What are the key factors 
that are shaping this massive transformation and causing this high level 
of instability across regions and among societies that have lived in 
relative peaceful and co-dependence existence for centuries. Could it 
all be reduced to differing religions or even among the same religious 
group to divergent interpretations!

Indeed, divide and conquer has been the best and most effective 
instrument utilized by colonial powers to first achieve control over 
societies and then further the domination in successive periods up to 
the present post-colonial period. How to dominate and conquer a 
territory inhabited by large populations with diverse languages, 
cultures, racial groupings, religious traditions and political 
worldviews! The order of business was to explore existing cleavages and 
work to foment divisions at every turn while pushing forth a colonial 

Arguments as to what came first the company or the army are very 
rudimentary for the question fails to take into account that the 
colonial project was at once an economic, social, religious, political, 
racial and military project. We can't and should not separate it into 
distinct parts for doing so will reduce the ability to critique the 
totality of the epistemic colonial structure and get the bigger picture 
lost in possible contradictions at the smaller or local details. Taking 
the colonial structure in parts will cause us to lose sight of the 
forest and become entangled in tree types and effects on each other. 
Colonialism always insisted on looking at tree types and not the forest 
or more importantly who owns it.

At the big picture, we have a daily massive transfer of wealth taking 
place from the colonized south to the colonial motherlands in the global 
north. The global north provides the arms and military hardware needed 
by the local despotic colonial guards, which are financed by revenues 
coming from raw materials, strategic minerals and oil. The colonized 
elites are connected to the colonial global north and place their 
resources in banks and corporations in the colonial motherlands. This 
was built into the structure from inception and not a mere smartness or 
cunning in the south.

Guns for raw materials, economic access for domination and possible 
success for the few at the expense of the overwhelming many in the 
global south is what colonialism offered in the past and continues to do 
so in this post-colonial period. The colonial project is centered on 
creating the appropriate conditions to constitute an elite ready to 
sacrifice the best interests of its own society for a narrow benefit 
that is never lasting or subject to control and manipulation by colonial 
powers. Local conflicts are part of the colonial structure for they 
provide the ability to extract sweeping economic and political 
concessions from colonized societies. Conflicts, fomenting divisions and 
exaggerating tensions are structural aspects of colonization and not to 
be viewed as part of the colonized inherent inferiority.

The same strategy worked during the European Slave Trade in West Africa: 
Guns for slaves, which accelerated and intensified local conflicts. 
Certainly, the demand for more slaves required creating the needed 
conditions to bring slave supplies into the coast to be transferred 
across the Atlantic. The more conflicts in West Africa the more slaves 
can be supplied and the more slaves are available the more depressed the 
prices get thus making the conflicting parties more violent toward one 
another so they can get more slaves traded for guns to protect 
themselves against another local competitor engaged in the same system. 
For sure, the need for labor force in the Americas' plantations was the 
primary factor that shaped the history, society and conflicts in West 
Africa for over 300 years and the region still living the impacts of 
this catastrophic colonial project and strategy. This was not an 
accident; rather it was structural and set in motion by major powers 
involved in the colonization of the Americas and Africa at the same time 
since it was a major global economic, political, social, religious and 
racial project.

Studying history in a localized way, while is important, in this case 
would fail to account for this massive colonial project and its impact 
on Africa and the Americas' as a whole. I have very little respect for 
works that spend so much time on looking at the local conflicts in parts 
of Africa and never asking the critical question about the forces and 
interests at play that continue to push these conflicts forward because 
so much exploitation of diamond mines, oil, uranium, gold, silver, 
cooper etc. Too much money at stake to leave it for the Africans to use! 
Thus, the present colonial mangers are sent to set the process in motion 
and to keep things the way they are by sending the wealth up to the 
global north. Africa is not poor; rather is impoverished by cunning 
global 'civilized' design.

Now one might say that I strayed away from the topic and the Arab and 
Muslim world with the many conflicts witnessed and cited above but also 
racism and discrimination toward Black Africa, abuse of foreign labor 
force, sexism, and ill treatment of minorities. However, this litany 
once again is taking the local context so as not to confront the global 
and the colonial powers and their continued robbing the southern 
hemisphere poor to enrich the already 1% of the global north even more.

The core problems at hand are rooted in divide and conquer whereby local 
differences are instrumentalized for a present coloniality. In the past, 
the colonial companies, like the British East Africa Company, German 
East African Company, and Dutch East India Company, all worked hand in 
hand with the military and state powers to penetrate new territories and 
claim them as possessions for the sponsoring state. One must be clear on 
this direct connection between colonial commercial enterprises and 
colonial states and their pursuit of territorial expansion. The military 
protected the companies and in return the commercial enterprises managed 
and organized the colonies according to colonial state interests. 
Centrally to this organizing and management was a divide and conquer 
strategy as well as a conniving alignment with local elites and 
religious authorities, who opted to protect their narrow self-interest 
at the expense of resistance. At a certain level, the local elites and 
religious authorities were completely ignorant of the new global 
developments and acted from pre-modern understandings that were 
incongruent with rapid developments underway (this is separate article 
for the future).

When we examine the present colonial we confront similar alignment with 
military industrial complex companies selling guns to all parties, while 
petro-chemical companies move raw materials like oil to industrial 
economies to act as the engine for producing finished products for the 
captive colonized or if we may say open-market privatize neoliberal 
economies. On the other end, we find a set of global corporations coming 
with 'development' projects for the shakedown and clean up job for 
whatever is left in the pockets of elites who got paid for oil, raw 
materials and the robbing of local economies.

Guns for oil to further foment conflicts instrumentalized over a 200 
years period and colonial development projects intended to shift 
resources from the local to the global while facilitating an 
administration of the local colonial structures. The existing elites are 
all acting to protect their assigned self-interest in the form of 
luxurious trade mark products and local dealerships, software deals, 
processing plants, tobacco concessions, percentage cuts on various deals 
etc. The local elite role is to facilitate the present colonial and in 
return they are given the guns to protect themselves from domestic 
opposition at the plantation level and external neighbors that are 
organized on the same principles but often belong to another colonially 
selected tribe, religious group or sect, and ethnic or linguistic 
groupings. In each case the borders and assignment of roles were set in 
motion in an epistemic colonial structure and not as often presented as 
a result of historical animosities or revelries.

The best Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Salafi, Ikhwani, Christian, Jew, Hindu and 
Buddist in the present colonial is a dead one if they are not ready to 
play and be part of this insidious dehumanizing structure. We all are 
caught with the news cycle but don't stop to think of how the news 
became news in the first place! How did the Sunni-Shia conflict become 
the focal point! How did ISIS emerge, why and how politics framed around 
sectarian discourses came to the fore! How did Muslim-Jewish and 
Arab-Jewish conflicts become the frame by which relations are developed 
and constructed since the inception of a colonial Zionist project! Why 
is it that we look at one another through an otherization colonized lens 
and accept it to define who we are and what we should do on a daily basis!

Differences among human groups are foundational and present throughout 
recorded history. Some, however, maintain that the human state of nature 
is founded upon the survival of the fittest and as such powerful groups 
must work to overcome and take over weaker types. However, this 
particular thesis is founded upon a capitalist, colonial and racist 
reading of history that takes developments occurring as a result of 
particular human behavior and project it back unto all human groups and 
societies then articulate a forward looking policy and action plans 
based on it. This thesis views conflict between human groupings as the 
norm and an outcome of a pre-determined imprint on the human state of 
nature. Thus, colonialism and its economic underpinnings are 
rationalized as part of a norm rather than a particular distorted mode 
resulting in genocide and constant visitation of death and destruction 
on the vast majority of humanity to maintain the engines of greed and 
materialism humming.

The challenge for all is how to break away from this cycle and bring the 
colonial otherization project to an end. I do believe it begins by 
affirming the human collective differences and diversity as a source of 
enrichment and an endowed uniqueness that can contribute to building a 
better future for all. We all are better when we preserve, protect and 
cause each other to flourish in our unique and distinctive ways. Seeking 
to dominate and eliminate the other is a sign of weakness, not strength. 
For the Arab and Muslim world to flourish it must dispense with the 
colonial framing and reconstitute itself within a de-colonizing 
epistemology rooted in the strength within diversity whereby religious, 
ethnic, linguistic, cultural and regional differences are opportunities 
to learn and develop in ways that otherwise would not have been 
possible. Colonialism instrumentalized diversity and difference to 
propel a dehumanizing project. For me a de-colonization project in the 
Arab and Muslim world must be rooted in reconstituting our collective 
humanness with diversity and difference being the bedrock for the 
society. Today is the time for all to work toward hastening the dying 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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