I wasn’t the only one to notice the oddly colonial undertones of the Bush Plan of last week. In this week’s Time magazine Michael Elliot writes:

“If you’re nostalgic for gin slings, parasols and fly whisks, the White House Rose Garden was the place to be last week. The speech that President Bush gave on the Middle East could have been delivered by a colonial governor. As if the Palestinians were hapless natives, Bush set out the conditions they had to meet before winning approval from the Great White Father. (…) This is all mighty odd. Republicans spent eight years criticizing the Clinton Administration for neocolonial nation building in such places as Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti. This, we were told, was a diversion from America’s core missions: national defense and the establishment of a global security system based on relations with other great powers. Last week, however, a senior White House official blithely said, “We’re for nation building,” as long as American troops aren’t used to do it. (Which begs the question: Who will be used?)”

I don’t want to excerpt more, because the entire piece was a good read and worth checking out in its entirety: George W. Kipling.

The article coincided for me with a movie I saw last night on TCM: The Letter (with the amazing Bette Davis.) The entire movie is awash with colonial attitudes, with Bette’s character referring to Malaysian workers on her husband’s plantation as “the boys.”

Might be time to dig out Heart of Darkness and Season of Migration to the North.

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