Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Forward Policy

Following breadcrumbs from the footnotes in Reginald Reynold's "The White Sahibs in India" (1937), we arrive at "Pamphlets and Leaflets of 1897" of the British Liberal Party.  This following is about a part of the world with which the US currently is experiencing some trouble with.  The events are reminiscent of the neo-con years under Bush the Second, and is therefore of contemporary interest.
The setting (emphasis in the original)

Chitral is a country on the North-West frontier of India. In the early part of 1895 trouble arose about its ruler, in the course of which that country was invaded by Umra Khan, a powerful Pathan chief, and Mr. Robertson, with a small British force, was beseigned in the town of Chitral.  This rendered a British expedition to that country necessary; but its objects were clearly limited and defined in a Proclamation issued by Lord Elgin, the Viceroy of India, in April, 1895:
"The SOLE OBJECT of the Government of India is to put an end to the present, and prevent any future unlawful aggression on Chitral territory, and as soon as the object has been attained, THE FORCE WILL BE WITHDRAWN."
But while that object was quickly obtained, the force was not withdrawn.  The people of Swat rose in rebellion, and the British sent in more forces.   The Liberal pamphlet asks and answers:
Why did we stay?  Let Mr. BALFOUR supply the answer:—
"We determined that where the British soldier had been, there we should remain."

 We then come to Member of Parliament Mr. John Morley's speech to his constituents at Arbroath on September 29, 1897 - (emphasis and formating in the original removed)
These are the five stages of the 'FORWARD' RAKE'S PROGRESS: 
(1) you push into territories where you have no business to be, and, in our case, where you promised you would not go; 
(2) your intrusion provokes resentment, and in these wild countries resentment means resistance; 
(3) you instantly cry out that the people are rebellious, and that their act is rebellion—this in spite of your own assurance that you have no intention of setting up a permanent sovereignty over them; 
(4) you send a force to stamp out the rebellion; and 
(5) having spread bloodshed, confusion, and anarchy, you declare with hands uplifted to the heavens, that moral reasons force you to stay, for, if you were to leave, this territory would be left in a condition which no civilised power could contemplate with equanimity or with composure.  
These are the five stages of the Forward Rake's Progress.
This bears a close family resemblance to what happened in Iraq, and to an extent in Afghanistan.  It is a credit to some remaining good sense in America that one occupation is ended, and the second war is winding down.  Still, there are influential imperialists waiting in the wings.

One reason that I want to thoroughly expose the utter unmitigated evil of colonial empire is that no one lend any support to the modern imperialists.