Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Anglo-American fascism


In the Guardian, 10 May 2005, Richard Drayton, the senior lecturer in history at Cambridge University, wrote about:

the myths surrounding the British and American military.


Drayton tells us about Robert Lilly's book 'Taken by Force'.

Lilly, a distinguished American sociologist, studied the military archives and then wrote about the rapes committed by American soldiers in Europe between 1942 and 1945. Lilly's US publisher suppressed the book.

Drayton states that we prefer not to know about the mass rape committed by American and British troops. Lilly suggests a minimum of 10,000 American rapes.

Time Magazine reported in September 1945: "Our own army and the British army along with ours have done their share of looting and raping ... we too are considered an army of rapists."


Drayton argues that some British and Americans think they had a good war against Hitler, and that this gives then an ethical blank cheque.

Some of the British and Americans think that they now have the right to:

1. bomb
2. maim
3. imprison without trial.


According to Drayton:

Fascism had important Anglo-American roots.

1. In the British Empire there was ethnic cleansing and slave labour.

America's empire in Latin America had similarities with Japan's empire in Asia.

2. The British and Americans were key theorists of eugenics

(Sir Francis Galton wrote about selective breeding).

3. Racial segregation was normal in parts of the USA.

(The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed certain forms of discrimination)

3. The concentration camp was a British invention.

(Britain killed many thousands of Boer women and children in concentration camps in South Africa, between 1899 and 1902)

4. The British were the first to bomb civilians from the air.

For example, Bomber Harris bombed the Kurds in the 1920s.

5. British and US elites gave aid to the fascists.

President Bush's grandfather, prosecuted for "trading with the enemy" in 1942, was one of many powerful Anglo-Americans who helped Hitler.

6. The bombing of Dresden, filled with women and children, was one of many atrocities.

The allies tortured and murdered of captured soldiers.

Edgar Jones, an "embedded" Pacific war correspondent, wrote in 1946: "'We shot prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or mistreated enemy civilians, finished off the enemy wounded, tossed the dying into a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments."


After World War II, Anglo-American fascism seemed to continue:

1. In 1946, Project Paperclip secretly brought more than 1,000 Nazi scientists to the US.

Among them were:

Kurt Blome, who had tested nerve gas at Auschwitz,
Konrad Schaeffer, who forced salt into victims at Dachau.

2. Experiments in mind control via drugs and surgery became part of the CIA's Project Bluebird.

3. Japan's Dr Shiro Ishii, who had experimented with prisoners in Manchuria, came to Maryland to advise on bio-weapons.

4. Britain ran concentration camps in Kenya to crush the Mau Mau.

5. The Gestapo's torture techniques were given by the Americans to Latin American dictatorships in the 60s and 70s.

Richard Drayton is senior lecturer in history at Cambridge University.

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