Can Immigrants Save Us from the Neocons? Imperialism Goes Ignored Even as the U.S. Embarks upon It

By Hasan, Farrukh | National Catholic Reporter, May 20, 2005 | Go to article overview
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Can Immigrants Save Us from the Neocons? Imperialism Goes Ignored Even as the U.S. Embarks upon It


Hasan, Farrukh, National Catholic Reporter


I have been hearing a lot about the neocons or the neoconservatives, so I went to Google to see what's said about them. The first reference is from The Christian Science Monitor. The Web site describes the "neocons" as those who "believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power--forcefully if necessary--to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a U.S. empire."

The idea of imposing Western supremacy over the entire world is not new. Winston Churchill had a similar ideology. He said in 1937 while addressing the Palestine Royal Commission, "I do not admit ... that a great wrong has been done to the red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia ... by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race ... has come in and taken its place." British imperialism is a glorified example, Britain having ruled Palestine, Zimbabwe, the Indian subcontinent and Iraq, to name a few. Ultimately, British imperialism came to an end, not because the colonizers developed a conscience, apologized and left, but because the indigenous people refused to be subjugated any longer.

Those nations are still suffering the consequences of colonialism: abject poverty, war, debt, disease, despair, chaos. Incidentally, I have read that Churchill's bust now adorns the Oval Office desk of our president.

Coming from India, I dread to think of another "raj" enslaving and exploiting other nations again. Even after having lived here for almost 30 years, my memory of the Third World's destitution and deficiency is still fresh. We blame these on overpopulation, illiteracy, chaos, corruption, inertia and so on, not on Western imperialism or the West's sympathetic interference via the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, economic sanctions, and so on.

But I have hopes for the United States of America. A country's best and most important asset is not its weapons, wealth or power but the conscience of its people. The conscience of new immigrants, mostly from the Third World, their collective memories of poverty, starvation, hopelessness, endless struggle are still alive. The disparity of the have and have-nots globally and within this nation shocks them as they witness this nation's great opulence.

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