June 30, 2005

Mau-Mauing America
— Ace

Max Boot examines the civilized Brits' response to the Mau Mau uprising and notes how different it was from our response to terrorism:

Look at how the United States' closest ally, Britain, handled an insurgency much smaller and much less threatening than the one we face today.

In Kenya during the early 1950s, a movement known as Mau Mau arose to challenge British colonial rule. Though Mau Mau became a byword for savagery, it was actually pretty restrained as far as guerrilla movements go. Its 20,000 adherents killed fewer than 100 Europeans and 2,000 African loyalists — fewer than the toll from 9/11 alone. Unlike the Iraqi rebels, the Mau Mau had no outside support and no sophisticated weapons. (They mainly killed with machetes.) Unlike Al Qaeda, they did not target the British homeland.

Yet the British used disturbingly harsh tactics against them, as revealed in two new books — "Histories of the Hanged" by David Anderson of Oxford University and "Imperial Reckoning" by Caroline Elkins of Harvard.

The British admitted killing 11,000 Mau Mau, but the real figure, these authors make clear, was much, much higher. Security forces held hundreds of thousands of suspects without trial in a system of penal camps known as the Pipeline. Unlike detainees at Gitmo, who receive three meals a day and all the medical care they need, prisoners in the Pipeline were half-starved, worked to the point of collapse, and sickened by the poor sanitation.

Torture was standard during interrogation, and was not what passes for "torture" in anti-American screeds today (e.g., stepping on a Koran). This was the real thing. According to Elkins, "the screening teams whipped, shot, burned, and mutilated Mau Mau suspects." Some men were forcibly castrated or sodomized. Others were beaten to death or summarily executed.

Little distinction was drawn between guerrillas and civilians. The Mau Mau were primarily Kikuyu, Kenya's largest ethnic group, and the British detained nearly all 1.5 million of them.

Men, women and children were forced off their homesteads at gunpoint. Those not sent to the Pipeline were herded into villages surrounded by barbed wire where they had to endure forced labor while denied adequate food or medical care. Many women were gang-raped by guards. Has anything like this happened in Iraq? Of course not. If it had, you'd hear about it on "60 Minutes."

Mau Mau was defeated by the mid-1950s, but colonial rule did not long survive. In 1963, Kenya achieved independence under Jomo Kenyatta, who had spent eight years in prison after being falsely convicted of being the Mau Mau mastermind.

Those who don't learn the lessons of history are doomed to make jackass and politically disastrous statements on the floor of the Senate.

Posted by: Ace at 06:47 AM | Comments (18)
Post contains 456 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Those who don't learn the lessons of history are doomed to make jackass and politically disastrous statements on the floor of the Senate.

Why? Is Joe Biden plagerizing the Brits again?

Posted by: at June 30, 2005 07:25 AM (Q7tmB)

2 I'd like to treat about 10 members of the Senate and 5 members of the Supreme Court like that.

Posted by: Moonbat_One at June 30, 2005 07:30 AM (p2G9i)

3 Damn Mauslims.

Posted by: Dman at June 30, 2005 08:15 AM (m2CN7)

4 Well, those were the good old days...

Seriously, sure they did all that stuff - but it didn't really help in the long run - Kenya got its independence is in now just another sh*thole.

The US needs to do what it takes to win - but obviously what the Brits did in Kenya was grossly excessive. Still, kinda puts all the "gulag" talk into perspective.

Let us not forget that the Brits invented the concentration camp (though NOT the German-style death camp) - can you name that war?

Posted by: holdfast at June 30, 2005 08:32 AM (I2n7v)

5 I've got a different take on the Mau Mau-ing of America.

Posted by: shit from shinola at June 30, 2005 08:34 AM (dhRpo)

6 Concentration camps were used in the Boer war.

Posted by: Some Guy at June 30, 2005 08:59 AM (e6EUI)

7 Some men were forcibly castrated or sodomized.

Can we all agree that this abverb is surplus to requirements? Has anyone ever been castrated gently?

"Mary smeared the softened stick of butter on Bob's trouser-plums, massaging the oil into his skin with a circular motion, slowly applying pressure. Bob's man-fruit popped off.

" 'Oh,' said Bob. 'That was relaxing.' "

Posted by: Pompous at June 30, 2005 11:24 AM (pwn6J)

8 Some Guy - congrats, you win one bowl of mealies with ground glass in it - mmm good.

Posted by: holdfast at June 30, 2005 11:48 AM (I2n7v)

9 During British rule in India they also wiped out a death cult religion called "Thugee." Which I assume is where the word thug came from. These people would travel from place to place and join groups of travelers pretending to be friendly, but when night came they would murder everyone in the caravan and steal their stuff.

The only way to deal with people like this, in my opinion, is be just as brutal as they are until they get the message.

Everytime terrorists set off a car bomb - take some of the terrorist prisoners and publicly execute them and throw pig fat on them. No decent burial. Make the stakes too high for committing the crime.

Everytime terrorists bomb Israeli citizens, drop a bigger fucking bomb on the palestinians. Kissing their asses and giving in to their demands while they make no concessions whatsoever and continue their violence is complete bullshit and only exacerbating the situation.

Posted by: Jenny at June 30, 2005 11:53 AM (1Qzdb)

10 Jenny

I'm in complete sympathy with you. But we have had arbitrary limits placed upon us by Liberals, who ruin everything they touch, even war and torture. Ahhh for the good old days, the Rack, the Iron Maiden, the Wheel, the Tickler, the Pear, the Water Cure, the Boot, the Bastanado, the Garrotte, the Spanish Horse, the Judas Chair, the Acid Vat, the Strapado, the Necklace, the Grinder, the Peine forte et dure, and my favorite: the Brass Bull.

Posted by: shit from shinola at June 30, 2005 01:09 PM (dhRpo)

11 Jenny and S from S:

That's why you have to kill as many people as possible during the "major combat ops phase", 'cause after that there are just too many rules.

Posted by: holdfast at June 30, 2005 01:36 PM (I2n7v)

12 We're no worse than colonial Britain was 50 years ago! Yay!

I really think we should be holding ourselves to a higher standard than that.

Oh, and Pompous? Thousands of men are castrated, at their own request, every year in Bangkok. It's called "sex reassignment".

Posted by: at June 30, 2005 11:52 PM (4Ghiv)

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