|Insight into manufactured reality|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:05|
In order to preserve the legacy of imperialism and to sustain its perpetuity, it is absolutely necessary that history is not only favourably manufactured in a biased way, but also that it is completely falsified.
When Caroline Elkins presented her dissertation proposal to her University Department at Harvard University in 1997, she had a burning intention to write about what she believed to be the successes of Britain’s civilisation mission in the Kikuyu detention camps of Kenya.
This started with what was an innocent and routine research about the Mau Mau uprising, something Elkins had become “fascinated” with after reading through records of the uprising in London.
She had read of how the barbarians that constituted the Mau Mau were so savagely primitive, anti-European, anti-civilisation and above all anti-Christian. She had gathered through her readings that the Mau Mau were primitive monsters whose sole occupation was “reverting to tactics of primitive terror to interrupt the British civilisation mission in Kenya.”
The records that Elkins was reading in London gave her an understanding of a Mau Mau group that attracted world attention in the early 1950s all for the most wrong reasons. She read through pages and pages of “photographic spreads with chilling pictorial evidence of Mau Mau’s savagery that contrasted dramatically with images of the local British settlers,” of course portrayed in the records as well-meaning advocates of philanthropic civilisation.
In these records it is dismissively mentioned that the Mau Mau guerrillas “claimed they were fighting for ithaka na wiyathi, or land and freedom.” But the records show a history written in such a way that very few people in the West took seriously the need for either land or freedom for the colonial subjects in Kenya.
What was taken quite seriously was the prevalent assertion that the Mau Mau were “criminal or gangsters bent on terrorising the local European population, and certainly not freedom fighters.”
The records make the atrocious crack down on the Mau Mau and on the generality of the Kikuyu people by twenty thousand British military troopers, backed by the Royal Air Force, appear like a saintly endeavour worth the praises and admiration of history readers. The records give a picture of messianic troopers taming murderous barbaric monsters on the loose.
This was heavy military artillery brought in full force against people with simple homemade weapons for a solid two years, followed by a lengthier period of ruthless persecution of 1.5 million Kikuyus, whose only crime was the suspicion that they had taken the Mau Mau oath and vowed to fight to have their land and freedom back.
Essentially the British troopers and their backing Royal Air Force just turned the whole Kikuyuland into a massive maximum security prison, fencing all the people in what were called “detention camps.”
It is the study of these camps and interaction with those still living who once were detained in the camps that made Caroline Elkins change her mind completely about the history she had read back in London on the Mau Mau uprising.
The book is called “Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya,” and it is from the preface of this book that all the quotations so far made in this essay were derived.
In presenting lies as manufactured reality it is absolutely necessary to completely falsify history, that way overcoming the burdensome and sickening inhibition of truth, making it look like the West only attacks or destroys primitive and monstrous aggressors who, if left unchecked can easily destroy the whole planet, or egregiously harm the nobility of humanity.
It makes sense that the Vietnam War history is reconstructed and rearranged to bring out the reality that the United States always does the noble and right thing. As Noam Chomsky puts it, the bombing of South Vietnam is portrayed as having been done in defence of South Vietnam “against somebody, namely, the South Vietnamese, since nobody else was there.”
The way the Kennedy administration put it was exceptionally impressive. They simply told the world that the United States was launching on behalf of the South Vietnamese a defence against “internal aggression,” of course by the South Vietnamese themselves, entirely aggressing against themselves.
It was the same with Libya where the Al-Qaeda affiliated Benghazi rebels were nobly called civilians at the mercy of a ruthless Gaddafi, despite vivid television images of the same rebels violently marching while armed to the teeth with Western supplied weapons.
The blatant lie upon which Iraq was invaded by the West in 2003 was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was about to destroy the whole planet in 48 hours, according to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair. After the lie was busted for what it was, a deliberate concoction of an entire untruth, there have been tremendous efforts at blaming Saddam Hussein himself for the blatant lie — with some Western commentators saying the lie was a direct result of Saddam Hussein’s own vacuous claims.
The recorded history on Libya is emphatically silent on the West’s oil interest in that country, bleating so unimpressively about how the West “prevented a pending genocide,” or unashamedly claiming that Nato helped to bring democracy to Libya — a democracy of murderous sectional fighting and endless militia squabbles, as well as a lawless era of vindictive justice and primitive racial profiling.
It is important that Zimbabwe records the history of the country well, especially from the year 2000. Right now the West has done numerous documentaries, films and literature on Zimbabwe’s land reform program. Just about every one of these records vilifies the person of President Robert Mugabe, the liberation war veterans, Zanu-PF and others often called “Mugabe cronies,” whatever that means.
“skilled farmers who once made the country the bread basket of Africa,” while the resettled indigenous Zimbabweans are portrayed as “unskilled blacks who have in a short ten years turned the country into a basket case.”
In 2008 Professor Ian Scoones of Sussex University discovered the lies about Zimbabwe’s land reform the same way Caroline Elkins discovered the lies about the Mau Mau uprising in the late nineties.
He dismissed as untrue five well publicised “myths;” fabrications if one is charitable with words, or lies if one is honest. The first such myth was the assertion that Zimbabwe’s land reform has been a total failure, the second being that the beneficiaries were largely political “cronies,” the third was the claim that there has been no investment in the new settlements, the fourth being that agriculture is in complete ruins, and the fifth asserted that the rural economy has collapsed.
It also turned out that agricultural production per household had actually increased for the land reform beneficiaries, just like it turned out that the Government had in fact significantly invested in supporting the new farmers.
What the Western media report is not an indigenisation policy designed to empower the local Zimbabwean towards controlling the country’s resources and wealth. Rather we are told of an unsound policy designed to unfairly and illegally grab shares of wealth from well-meaning foreign investors.
If indeed Zanu-PF is using the economic indigenisation policy as an electioneering tool, then the party is doing an excellent job of campaigning on real democratic needs of the people.
Advocating an economic takeover by the locals is a lot more sensible than Joyce Banda’s obsession with Western aid in Malawi — a humiliating dependence syndrome that makes Africans look like the sub-humans they are seen to be in the West.
It is a sound economic principle upon which economic freedom is premised and founded.
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!!