Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Eric the CR has some excellent thoughts on why people who are most oppressed are often not considered so by the "progressive forces" in the West:
One of the fundamental teachings of Marxism is that there is a direct relationship between oppression and revolutionary violence. The more oppressed or desperate a people are, the more likely they are to revolt. Once, this relationship was established in the popular mind, its converse has also become accepted. To wit, people who are oppressed revolt, people who are not revolting are not oppressed...

Consider the difference between the plights of two Muslim peoples -- the Iraqis and Palestinians. The Iraqi people suffer under one of the most cruel dictatorships since the death of Stalin, while the Palestinians live with limited self-government and with welfare provided by a special UN agency. Yet, the Palestinians are considered the most oppressed by the prosperous West. Following this perverse logic, since the Palestinians have taken up arms in revolt and kill Israelis they must be oppressed. On the other hand, the Iraqis show nothing but “love” for their dictator. His pictures are everywhere and he won a recent election with 100 percent of the vote. Because the Iraqis are not revolting they're not oppressed and don't need our help.
This is partly true, though I can't help noticing that the "progressives" seem to get most exercised about the downtrodden when the United States or its perceived allies can be blamed for their plight. We thus get victimized Chileans, but benefitting Cubans, for example. The Tibetans seem to be a special case -- and even then, the U.S. is criticized for keeping up trade and diplomatic relations with the Chinese, far more than China for being a brutal colonial power that invaded and subjugated a weaker, non-threatening, and picturesque neighbor. (Oddly enough, most of the same voices demand that the U.S. reopen diplomatic relations and trade with Iraq. Well, no one ever accused them of being logical...)

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