Thursday, April 10, 2008
Racial doctrine therefore proves to be extraordinarily ductile given the exigencies of war. In both subsequent major Asian wars, there were good 'Asiatics' and bad ones. So, during the Korean War, the good pro-American Korean was shown to be under spiritual and racial assault from the quasi-satanic Muscovite-controlled savages from the North. Thus, the old green tint and the claws were out again. The bestiary was put to work again. Suffice to say, the US war was as close to a war of annihilation as anything since Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and the use of nukes was being seriously considered). The Vietnam War, though apparently complicated by the 'good guys' in the south, was increasingly obviously a war against almost the entire Vietnamese population. Hence, the 'dinks' and 'gooks' and 'savages' were relatively straightforward to depict, especially for the children. This war, of course, became increasingly genocidal, as the back room boys devised increasingly intensified anti-civilian warfare. The explicit use of racial caricatures of this kind became a source of embarrassment for the American government following the civil rights struggle, the race riots and the formal abolition of southern segregation, although one remaining respectable form of racism was that directed against Arabs and Muslims, and so it remains. Of course, once again, you can always find some good Arabs, ones who are strangely Americanised, whose skin is lighter, whose eyes are more European, whose values are 'Western'. This is how 'race' works: if you want to 'lighten' or 'darken' someone, you just use your imagination. Hold your breath, make a wish, count to three... There's nothing to it.
One final example. Here is a respected pro-war journalist in a liberal newspaper at the height of the self-congratulatory euphoria over the war in Yugoslavia:
" Do Albanians look like Serbs?
"No. Of course the differences are only approximate but it is often very easy to tell a Serb from an Albanian in Kosovo long before he or she opens his mouth.
"The Serbs often have black or dark brown hair and are generally darker and more heavily built than Albanians. Their appearance is fairly typical of southern Slavs. By contrast, the Kosovars look Celtic to a British eye. They have curly hair, which is often blonde or rust coloured, and their skin tends to be very pale and covered in freckles. Their eyes are often green or blue and their build is much more slender than that of the Serbs. They have longer heads. It is not surprising that they look so different as they belong to different races that have very rarely intermarried." (Marcus Tanner, 'WAR IN THE BALKANS: THE BALKAN QUESTION; KEY ISSUES BEHIND THE WAR EXPLAINED', The Independent, 11 May 1999).
The great war of 1999, then, was a war on behalf of the Milky Bar kid against some squat, Slavic barbarians.