Resentments and empires

Letter from Joan C. Wilson

Politics – March 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ms. Quillen,

I was sent a copy of your magazine by a friend in Buena Vista — just to show typical goings-on in your part of the country. It also contained one of the best summings-up of the Iraq situation I’ve read in a long time. Your writing is so clear and down-to-earth — and your sentiments so sympathetic! I feel as if I should order ump-thousand copies and send them to everyone…. Seriously, it should be reprinted in the nationals. I mean to send a copy to the Guardian Weekly (London UK) anyway.

Just one carp. You mention withdrawal of troops in the words “cut and run.” This seems a pejorative term for a perfectly valid option. America is not an ancient oriental country which might fear “loss of face.” (In fact you might say that we have, in the past “cut & run” several times, without serious consequences — to us that is….)

Maybe for reasons of space you don’t go on to cover the furious resentment of a “conquered” people — the generations-long dislike or even hatred for the foreign rulers, as seen in Ireland, Poland, etc. and in America (for a time).

You too rebelled against alien dominance.

Also, the age of empires is at an end, and the Kipling-esque situation which allowed them — “we have got the Gatling gun and they have not” — has totally changed now that everyone has an Uzi, a Kalashnikov, or a bomb and can fight back (with tragic and disastrous results). Nowadays, military interference “only makes things worse” as Sir Dunant remarked.

Nor did the great empires of the past seek to change the basic thinking of the “conquered” and impose alien ideas by force. We should be satisfied with the “Coca Cola Revolution.”

With very best wishes for the continuing success of your paper,

Joan C. Wilson

Danville, Kentucky