Friday 26 April 2013

Mrs. Thatcher - Blaming the Symptom, Avoiding the Cause

"In 1983, Thatcher sent the SAS to train the "coalition" in its own distinctive brand of terrorism. Seven-man SAS teams arrived from Hong Kong, and British soldiers set about training "resistance fighters" in laying minefields in a country devastated by genocide and the world's highest rate of death and injury as a result of landmines.
I reported this at the time, and more than 16,000 people wrote to Thatcher in protest. "I confirm," she replied to opposition leader Neil Kinnock, "that there is no British government involvement of any kind in training, equipping or co-operating with the Khmer Rouge or those allied to them." The lie was breathtaking. In 1991, the government of John Major admitted to parliament that the SAS had indeed trained the "coalition".  "We liked the British," a Khmer Rouge fighter later told me. "They were very good at teaching us to set booby traps. Unsuspecting people, like children in paddy fields, were the main victims.""
             John Pilger

There are two points I'd like to make with regard to Mrs. Thatcher.  Firstly, whilst not wishing to dance on anyone’s grave, she does appear to have been yet another fine example of a sociopath who rose to the highest levels of political power.   I don't think I'm being rude here, just calling a spade a spade.   As the John Pilger I'm linking to below amply demonstrates, whether it was sending the SAS to train the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, or supplying General Suharto with the weapons to carry out genocide in East Timor, Mrs. Thatcher seemed to have a very easy going attitude towards both murder and bare faced lies covering it up.1

Also all this stuff about 'protecting our boys' with regard to the Belgrano doesn't quite ring true to me either.  Not when her government spent the entire 1980's breaking the law to sell weapons to Saddam Hussein, weapons that were then used against 'our boys' during the first gulf war.  Of course they didn't know then that Britain would be going to war with Iraq, but Mr. Hussein's gassing of the Kurd's and brutal invasion of Iran might have provided a clue that arming him was a less than virtuous thing to do.2

The other point I'd like to make has less to do with the lady herself and more with the reaction to her passing, the negative reaction that is.  Whilst it's clear that Margaret Thatcher had a highly dysfunctional sense of morality, it seems kind of silly to me to place so much blame on her personally for the destruction she wrought.  We have a political system that consistently allows or even encourages moral degenerates to move to the top, to  blame whatever degenerate happens to be sitting on the throne this week seems to be misplaced, not to mention dis-empowering.  It's like blaming the puppet rather than the puppeteer.  Who is the puppeteer?  Some nefarious deep power structure that is selecting Presidents and Prime-ministers?  Quite possibly so, but it seems to me that the real puppeteer is the nature of government itself, that we excuse extortion, theft and violence when it is carried out by an entity known as 'The State.'

Blaming the man (or woman) at the top for the crimes of the State is like blaming Tony Soprano for the crimes of the Mafia, it's getting the cart before the horse.   Everyone can recognise that the Mafia wouldn't suddenly become a good organisation if only we could democratically elect the right folks to run it, it is by its very nature a violent criminal gang where the worst kind of people will always rise to the top.  It's obvious to all that any attempt at reform would be futile, the problem is we don't see that trying to reform the criminal gang called government is equally as futile.

From now on I'm intending to blog more on what society minus the state might look like, and how we might get ourselves to such a position.

1. Link to John Pilger article at Stop the War Coalition:

2. See Mark Curtis' book, 'Web of Deceit – Britain's Real Role in the World'

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