After millions killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Niall Ferguson wants war in Libya. With little to lose, Libyans may ensure that US loses its ‘empire’. (Cartoon by Steve Bell; cartoon courtesy – guim.co.uk). Click for larger image.
Niall Ferguson, a popular, British historian, has been a cheer-leader for Pax Americana. On assignment to Harvard currently, he has been at the forefront of ‘persuading’ America to take the place of various European colonial powers. Instead of the USCAP-client states system, Niall Ferguson believes that US must revert to European-style colonialism.
Niall Ferguson starts-off by using two bad examples of revolutions. One is the American Independence and the other was a inconsequential bit of British history.
Was the American Revolution ‘completely organic’? Funny, I could have sworn those were French ships off Yorktown. What about Britain’s Glorious Revolution, the one that established parliamentary rule? Strange, I had this crazy idea that William III was a Dutchman.
Yes! Niall is write about one thing!
French supplies of gunpowder were crucial to Washington & Co., as Britain had cornered gunpowder supplies from India.
For the success of the American War of Independence, gunpowder apart, the French and Spanish economic aid to the armies of George Washington, was essential.
My bottom चवन्नी chav-aani says Ferguson’s history teacher never told him, that Britain gave up 13 American colonies. Due to wars in India, especially with Tipu Sultan. Rather than lose India, Britain thought it wiser to let go of these 13 American colonies.
Why does Niall Ferguson forget that Haiti threw out their slave-masters.
All by themselves.
Haiti, defeated British, French and Spanish colonial armies in a space of less than 10 years (1794-1804). As did Cuba. I wonder what were ‘foreign additives’ in Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa or in Poland.
Why does Niall Ferguson remind me of a sputtering, slow internet connection. Refresh the page a number of times. After 8 years of war in Iraq, he has the brazenness to
think of the Marsh Arabs’ fate at the hands of Saddam Hussein. Such events tend to be remembered as massacres.
The lowest figure for civilian deaths in Iraq has crossed 1 lakh (100,000) people. Corroborated by multiple news reports, eyewitness accounts, death certificates, hospital records, morgue reports, Western sources, Iraqi official figures, US army figures. The 1 lakh (100,000) figure assumes, in the middle of a civil war, Iraqis will cease all activity, postpone the funeral, in case of a death, to complete documentation and update multiple databases for a Western body-count. The figure of 100,000 assumes that Iraqis share Western enthusiasm, (or is it relish?), for ‘body-count’.
Other less ‘rigorous’ procedures, using Iraqi families as source and base, have reported around 10 lakh (1 million) Iraqi deaths. Whether you accept, 100,000 deaths or 1,000,000, it is a lot more people who died due to US invasion, than due to Saddam’s ‘oppression’.
Ever since, Pax Americana started their unwelcome visit to Iraq.
Hundreds … or hundreds of thousands
We must hope that someone gives Obama a history lesson before thousands of Libyans share their fate.
I am sure 100s of people are killed by Gaddafi’s regime each year. Trouble is, the US will kill more. Many more.
Niall-anna, are you sure that the cost of US intervention will be less than thousands? Iraq’s death-toll is a lot more than thousands – in fact, it is hundreds of thousands. If you can guarantee a figure in hundreds, I am all for a US invasion.
Good upbringing shows
I have always wanted to know, who gave history lessons to Niall Ferguson?
Such hubris cost US billions in Iraq and Afghanista. The bill will up for payment soon. Wil Libya be the straw on the US backs? (Cartoon by Stavro Jabra). Click for larger image.
It will be tragic indeed if America concludes from the experience of overthrowing murderous tyrannies in Afghanistan and Iraq that the correct policy is to turn a blind eye to murder in Libya.
Why not, for a change, pay attention to the home-front.
With more than 2 million prisoners, the capital of State-mandated murders is surely USA.
The evil empire
You get ‘One’ chance. One guess is all that you will need, Niall-bhai. Which country has more per-capita prisoners – USA, erstwhile USSR /post-Soviet Russia. I will throw China as a bonus?
The Cold War ended not because the US achieved a military edge over the Soviet Union, but because the legitimacy of the Soviet system collapsed from within. The West’s role was to insist on the importance of those “human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Even if not all America’s allies in the Cold War always upheld them, the other side respected them less.
And no, the story of Soviet collapse, has nothing to do with “human rights and fundamental freedoms.” It was economic warfare.
In the 70s, with out-sized gains in oil, platinum and aluminum prices, Soviet economy became an economic powerhouse. Soviet Russia, one of the largest gold producers in the world, made windfall gains. Funding anti-US regimes across Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East, Soviet Union was dubbed the Evil Empire by Ronald Reagan.
The expansion in subsidies by the USSR in the 1970-1990 period to its allies and sympathetic regimes, created a huge pressure on Soviet finances. A simultaneous drop in oil and gold prices in the 1985-1995 period severely dented Soviet export earnings, leading to the economic collapse of the Soviet Union. In USSR’s economy, after WW2, commodities like oil, natural gas, metals (like gold, platinum, uranium) and timber accounted for 65%-80% of Russian exports.
Toppling USSR cost the US and Europeans 4000 tons of gold – and other hidden costs. With a US$9t deficit, which is not going down, how long and how far can Pax Americana go? (Cartoon by Steve Sack; courtesy – sinteur.com.). Click for larger image.
The Central Bank Gold Sales Agreement, further dented gold prices, 1995 onwards. Gordon Brown, the then British Chancellor of the Exchequer, has been under pressure to ‘reveal’ details of British gold sales during this period.
The interesting bit was where did the European Central Banks get so much gold from! Was it the various gold hoards, that had disappeared from 1900-200o, making a re-appearance! A lot of Nazi and Soviet gold came into the markets, it is surmised, during the 1999-2005 Central Bank Gold Sales agreement – which was put in place to depress gold prices. These depressed gold prices, that coincided with price declines in oil, platinum and other commodities, bankrupted the Soviet economy.
Toppling USSR cost the US and Europeans, 4000 tons of gold – and other hidden costs. With a US$9t deficit, which is not going down, how long and how far can Pax Americana go? With an Afghan War going nowhere, Pakistan waiting to implode, will Libya be the straw on the Pax Americana’s back. You must be careful of what you wish for. Your wishes may come true.
Pax Americana may come – and go.