[Left: David Cameron: 'doing business' for the UK or appeasing Islamists and Islamoterrorists (or both)? Above: the British Empire. All bad?]
EDL Extra comments on the Telegraph article, 'David Cameron: Britain caused many of the world's problems', by James Kirkup, 5th April, 2011. (Comments are in red.)
The Prime Minister appeared to distance himself from the imperial past when he suggested that Britain was to blame for decades of tension and several wars over the disputed territory, as well as other global conflicts. [David Cameron wouldn’t be distancing himself from the ‘imperial past’ if it wasn’t for that imperial past. It was that imperial past which gave Cameron, more than most people in the UK, so much. It also fostered that peculiarly English, as well as Western (and Israeli), phenomenon of self-criticism - sometimes obsessive self-criticism.
The only point of such an apology would be if the British Empire had been uniquely culpable among all nations and throughout all times. Clearly it wasn’t. The hugeness of the empire doesn’t automatically make it more culpable. Nor does the fact that the Empire advanced so much technologically and militarily, and thus could conquer with such things, make it uniquely evil. A small or useless state that couldn’t even conquer a desert island could still have been the most malign state that has ever existed (even without an empire). Similarly, throughout Africa, Asia, the Muslim and Arab world, etc. there have been, and still are, numerous tribes and mini-kingdoms which Westerners exoticise and excuse of all sins simply because they didn’t or don’t have the wherewithal to conquer on the scale in which Britain once conquered. And, of course, without guns and tanks, that can’t help but make them look so much more innocent that British ‘imperialists’. But you can be just as evil with a spear and a shield as you can be with tanks and machine guns. The fact that so many states outside the West have not conquered on a massive scale, says more about their technological stasis, as well as their ancestral, theocratic and autocratic regimes, than it does about their intrinsic goodness.]
His remarks came on a visit to Pakistan, when he was asked how Britain could help to end the row over Kashmir. [I wouldn’t be surprised if all these has to do with mainly three things: ‘doing business’ with Pakistan; calming down the psychotic Islamists in Pakistan and at home; and trying to placate the Islamoterrorists, of whom there are many in Pakistan.] He insisted that it was not his place to intervene in the dispute, saying: “I don’t want to try to insert Britain in some leading role where, as with so many of the world’s problems, we are responsible for the issue in the first place.”
His remarks about Kashmir were greeted warmly by the audience of Pakistani students and academics, but drew accusations from historians that the Prime Minister was wrongly apologising for Britain’s past. Daisy Cooper, the director of the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit [The India of both Muslims and Hindus was often a hell-hole before the partition. That was the main reason for the partition. Not only that, but the internecine wars between Muslims and Hindus, along with territorial and tribal disputes, pre-dated the British Empire by over a 1,000 years.
Many have also argued, quite convincingly, that the Brits made the whole damn thing better in that part of Asia, not worse. Yet that might still be the case even if that very same Brit Empire did commit many misdeeds and that some of which were indeed of large proportions. However, huge Empires, in conjunction with huge states and landmasses, are bound to have their numerous as well as their large problems. Singling out the British Empire, as well as the West, for unique culpability is not unlike the rhetoric which is is aimed at Israel today; and usually by the very same people - Muslims and Leftists.]
said: "This is typical of the UK’s schizophrenic relationship [There is also the logical or philosophical point that it makes little sense to apologise for what your ancestors have done. This would be the moral equivalent of backwards causation in which we apologise for things in the past which we were not responsible for (just as a the breaking of a teacup today cannot be the cause of a cut finger last week). In addition, a lot of British or English citizens will have ancestors who were not even part of the ruling class of the British Empire. (For example, those English with Irish, Polish, etc. ancestors, not to forget members of the working class whose ancestors during the British Empire might have been doing 15-hour shifts in dirty factories or working on farms owned by David Cameron’s ancestors.)] with former colonies where it is both proud and embarrassed about its past. The Coalition has said that it has big ambitions for a modern Commonwealth and the UK should stop being embarrassed about its colonial past and they should work with other countries to help improve their human rights.” Tristram Hunt, the Labour MP, historian and former television presenter, said: “To say that Britain is a cause of many of the world’s ills is naïve. To look back 50-odd years for the problems facing many post-colonial nations adds little to the understanding of the problems they face. “David Cameron has a tendency to go to countries around the world and tell them what they want to hear, whether it is in Israel, Turkey, India and Pakistan." [This attitude is actually the continuation of the old ‘colonialist mindset’ - that of denying the 'primitives' any responsibilities for their own actions and predicaments. This neo-colonialist way of thinking is particularly applied to Muslims throughout the world, whom Leftist and liberal Westerns seem to treat as children who simply can’t help but blow innocent people up.
Saying that all Cameron's words are just for business is fair enough. As long as its just ‘good for business’ and he isn't singling particular states or religious groups (Muslims!).]
Mr Cameron’s apparent willingness to accept historic responsibility for the Kashmir dispute has echoes of public apologies issued by his Labour predecessors. [Apparently one of my ancestors was a murderer. I’m very sorry about that.] In 1997, Tony Blair apologised to the Irish people for the famine the country suffered in the mid-19th century. And in 2006, he spoke of his “deep sorrow” at Britain’s historic role in the African slave trade. [We can clearly accept that these things were wrong. But to apologise for them now neither makes moral nor logical sense. It therefore comes across, especially in Blair’s case, as just another political soundbite.] In 2009, Gordon Brown issued a formal Government apology to tens of thousands of British children shipped to Australia and other Commonwealth countries between the 1920s and 1960s. [This, admittedly, changes things when the events become a little nearer to present times. But even then it may be morally and logically ridiculous to apologise for something which happened even two years ago if you weren’t responsible at all or if your Government or political party wasn't responsible.]
In the same year, Mr Cameron said that Britain should do more to celebrate its history, writing: “We must never forget that Britain is a great country with a history we can be truly proud of. Our culture, language [There wouldn’t have been much of the good without at least some of the bad.] and inventiveness has shaped the modern world.” Sean Gabb, of the campaign group Libertarian Alliance, said Mr Cameron should not apologise for Britain’s past. He said: “It’s a valid historical point that some problems stem from British foreign policy in the 19th and 20th centuries, but should we feel guilty about that? I fail to see why we should. “Some of these problems came about because these countries decided they did not want to be part of the British Empire. They wanted independence. They got it. They should sort out their problems instead of looking to us.” [The Arab Muslim countries are very good at blaming others for problems they are responsible for. If it’s not the colonial ‘cutting up’ of the Islamic empire, it’s Israel for doing something similar - as well as a whole host of other crimes against Arab Muslims.
This is part of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir mythology that things were great before the Europeans/kuffar came on the scene - and also before the destruction of the Ottoman Empire. No they weren't. The Arab world has always been plagued by warfare and the Turks’ own Islamic Empire was just as bad as ours - in fact worse! Not only that, Turkish Muslims often treated non-Turkish Muslims as second-class citizens.]
Mr Cameron’s remark is striking because he has previously spoken of his pride in Britain’s past and named Viscount Palmerston as one of his historical inspirations. [Do you expect honesty and consistency from a politician?] As foreign secretary and later prime minister in the mid-19th century, Palmerston was popular for his brazenly interventionist foreign policy, an approach that later became known as “gunboat diplomacy”. [Even ‘gunboat diplomacy’ can bring about good. It can even bring about much good.]
Mr Cameron was in Pakistan to make amends for any offence he caused last year by accusing the country of “exporting” terrorism. Kashmir has been contested since 1947 when India was partitioned. The original borders were drawn up by Viscount Radcliffe, a law lord who became chairman of the two boundary committees set up with the passing of [Pakistan does ‘export terrorism’ and has done consistently for decades. Even back to the creation of Pakistan in 1947. There have been periods of Pakistan-Government Hudna, as it were, but they were strategic examples of Realpolitik and manoeuvring, primarily aimed at the United States but also at the UK. The Pakistani Government always ends up giving way to the extremists and the Islamists, even if the present Government has made some sweet noises recently to the West about Pakistani terrorism and terrorists (just as President Abbas has done in Palestine, yet he has consistently rejected suggestions to disarm the terrorists there).]
As far as I can see, the primarily problem in Kashmir is being caused by the same people who are causing trouble throughout the world - Islamists and Islamoterrorists. About Kashmir it is called the ‘jihad of attrition’. Separatism, etc. are side issues for the Islamists and the Islamoterrorists. Don’t forget, the Islamic waqf doesn’t just include Kashmir, it also includes Spain and even southern France!]
He submitted his partition in August 1947 and the two nations were created. While some historians say that makes Britain responsible for the dispute, others point to Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler of Kashmir in 1947. Despite an expectation that Muslim areas of the subcontinent would become part of Pakistan, he decided that Muslim-majority Kashmir should be part of India. [Millions of Muslims are happy to be citizens of India, just as many Arab Muslims are very happy, and for many good reasons, with their being citizens of the ‘apartheid’ state of Israel.]
Pakistan and India have fought three wars over Kashmir since partition, and the dispute continues to strain their relationship. On a visit to India last year, Mr Cameron was criticised when he said Britain should approach its former imperial possession “in a spirit of humility”. [Ummm?] As well as Kashmir, some historians say Britain bears historic responsibility for other international disputes. [I thought that historians generally kept well clear of mono-causal explanations of historical events and problems. In that case, politicos, especially Muslim and Leftist ideologues, would learn a lot from the good historians who do so. There is never one single cause of anything on this scale. Indeed there isn’t even a group of related causes which can be held responsible for the problems of Kashmir or any political problems for that matter.]
Many trace the Israel-Palestine dispute back to Britain’s decision in 1917 to establish a “national home for the Jewish people” in the territory then known as Palestine. [Ditto!] The borders of many Middle Eastern states were also drawn by Britain. The badly-defined and highly unstable border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan was also largely defined by Britain in the late 19th century. [And what would be the solution to all the ‘artificial’ states in the Arab/Muslim and the Muslim world? Just what the Islamists demand - a huge Islamic empire, which would be far worse than the British Empire. Indeed, away from futurology, we can also say that the various Islamic empires we have already had throughout the ages have often been terrible for all non-Muslims - as well as for Muslims!]