British Empire Atrocities Ignored
The 2012 London Olympic Games were preceded by a novel Opening Ceremony that controversially involved a social history of the ordinary people of England since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the middle of the 18th century. Unfortunately the Opening Ceremony considered only the several score English subjects of the English Establishment and ignored the horrendous maltreatment of hundreds of millions of other subjects of the ruthless British Empire.
Just imagine a Berlin Olympic Games Opening Ceremony devoted to German social history and German civilization in recent centuries that failed to mention the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) or the WW2 European Holocaust of which it was a part (30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed). One is reminded that Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Western civilization and famously replied “I think it would be a good idea”.
On 28 July 2012 the UK magazine The New Statesman published an article by Steven Baxter entitled “The Olympic opening ceremony shows why lefties should embrace pageantry”). In short, the article asserted that the Opening Ceremony’s praise for the National Health Scheme (NHS) was surely part of the “leftie” agenda.
I prefer the term "anti-racist humanitarian" to "leftie" and as such a person I too was impressed with the attempt at a post-1750 social history of England in the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (Serra-moan-ee in Americanized, US lackey Australia) - however I was angered by its gross lying by omission in relation to the Elephant in the Room reality of that period, specifically the genocidal carnage due to British imperialism.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games was greatly inferior to that of the Beijing Olympic Games in terms of Art and Spectacle but it did provide some English social history including the Enclosures, the Industrial Revolution, England as factory of the world, World War 1, the Suffragettes, the post-WW2 Welfare State, Caribbean immigration, and the National Health Service (NHS). However in doing this it followed a long tradition of dishonest English historiography involving massive lying by omission (what British-Sierra Leonian heritage Aminatta Forna called "the secret lie" in her recent novel "The Memory of Love" (see "Review "The Memory of Love" War, trauma & lying", MWC News, 27 July 2012).
Here are some of the Elephant in the Room historical realities involving London-based, English Establishment genocidal violence since 1750 that were utterly ignored by the Opening Ceremony:
1. The Scottish Clearances in which Highland Scots (including my forebears) were replaced by sheep and driven from their lands by deprivation and starvation (a Scots choir sang in English; consult John Prebble’s “The Highland Clearances”).
2. The ethnocide of Wales (a Welsh choir sang in English).
3. The Irish Famine in which 1 million perished and 1-2 million were forced to emigrate (a Northern Irish choir sang "Danny Boy", in English; Tom Keneally’s “Three Famines”).
4. Over 2 centuries of an Indian Holocaust involving 1.8 billion Indians dying avoidably from imposed deprivation, 10 million butchered in reprisals in the decade after the 1857 Rebellion, and massive famines from the 1769-1770 Bengal Famine (10 million killed) to the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million Indians deliberately starved to death with Australian complicity; see “Bengal Famine. How Australia & UK killed 6-7 million Indians in WW2”, MWC News, 27 September 2011).).
5. Anglo-imposed imperial genocide on all inhabited continents (continuing this century today in Palestine, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan), slavery, imperial theft, indentured labor, opium to China etc that enabled Victorian "civilization" and industrialization. (see my book "Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History" now available for free perusal on the Web).
6. 1950-2005 avoidable deaths from deprivation in countries variously occupied by the UK in the post-war era totaled 727 million (see my book "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950" now available for free perusal on the Web).
7. 1,000 years of bloody Celtic conflict with England were dismissed as rugby union "games" in the TV version fed to Australia - with the English finally winning with the final drop goal by Jonny Wilkinson to defeat an Australia borne of English and Celtic refugees and convicts.
8. The English Establishment is till spreading death and destruction by making the UK complicit in the Palestinian Genocide (2 million deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or form war-, invasion-, occupation- and expulsion-imposed deprivation, 1.9 million, since 1936; Google “Palestinian Genocide”) and 12 million Muslims deaths from violence and from war-imposed deprivation in the post-1990 Zionist, UK and US War on Muslims (Google “Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide”).
9. There is worse to come. The UK has an annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution of 11 tones CO2-equivalent per person per year that is nearly twice the global average (6.7) and 12 times greater than that of Bangladesh (0.9).Global GHG pollution continues to rise remorselessly and if not addressed urgently is predicted to kill 10 billion mainly non-European people this century, of whom 6 billion will be under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis, a carnage 5 times greater than that imposed upon the same set of people by several centuries of merciless British imperialism (Google “Climate Genocide”).
Some of the real truth did emerge in the TV feed of the Opening Ceremony e.g. the dominant role of "men in top hats" who still run the show (formerly the gentry, aristocrats, nabobs and industrialist freemasonry, now Pacmen or Prosperous Anglo-Celtic Men); Her Majesty the Queen greeting Daniel Craig as Mr. Bond (007 with a license to kill, such license having been exercised in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya in recent years and now evidently in Syria); and the statue of Winston Churchill conducting proceedings (in his Nobel Prize-winning, 6-volume “The Second World War” there is no mention of the 6-7 million Indians he deliberately starved to death in the 1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust).
And what the Ceremony ignored was the glory of multicultural London and the brilliant British science behind the continuing Industrial Revolution (notably chemistry and physics) and the NHS (notably biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, and immunology) - instead we had "pop". History ignored yields history repeated.
(En passant, in the TV coverage we obtained in pro-Zionist Apartheid Australia, a female commentator spoke at length about 2 particular Israeli athletes as the Israeli team went by and then the male commentator repeated this Israeli spiel as the next team (Italy) passed. In stark contrast, in this first, real-time broadcast of the event, the Palestine team was barely mentioned by name alone as it passed and then the cameras and commentary immediately switched to an Australian surfer - in the later re-broadcast of the Opening Ceremony, the Palestinian and contiguous segments were replaced with advertisements. There was much commentary about female representation from some Muslim countries but there was no comment about the singular statelessness of the Palestinian athletes who we effectively didn’t get to see).
Conservative (Tory) MP Aidan Burley was outraged by the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony dealing with the social history of ordinary English people since the start of the Industrial Revolution, stating “Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap" (see Jonathan Derbyshire, “Olympic opener: madcap Britishness or “multicultural crap”?” New Statesman , 28 July 2012).
The description of the Ceremony as "leftie" is neo-nonsense. People who are "anti-racist humanitarians" (notably anti-racist Jews and anti-racist non-Jews opposed to the evil of the Apartheid Israel and the Palestinian Genocide; Google "Jews Against Racist Zionism": and "Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism") are typically described as "lefties" but being an anti-racist humanitarian opposed to mass murder and genocide is not exclusive to socialists. Indeed in this century even impecunious "lefties" in the UK (2003 per capita income US$28,000) are vastly richer than former British imperial subjects, for example the Bangladeshis (2003 per capita income US$400) and are thus pretty theoretical "lefties" in a Spaceship Earth sense (18 million Third World people die avoidably each year on Spaceship Earth with Anglos in charge of the flight deck and UK "lefties" likes most Brits are mostly overweight from chips and beer).
The 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was a drab and dishonest attempt to outline English social history from the mid-18th century, from the misery of the enclosures and the Industrial Revolution to the post-WW2 welfare state and National Health Service (NHS). The profound dishonesty lay in ignoring the carnage of about 2 billion avoidable deaths from British-imposed deprivation and merciless genocide on 5 continents (not to mention genocide and ethnocide of Gaelic Britain) over the same period.
Some of what the Opening Ceremony in its lying by omission (the Silent Lie) did NOT tell the gathered World about the footprint of a greedy and racist English Establishment (the men in top hats in the Ceremony) on the World over the last 2.5 centuries: genocide of Indigenous inhabitants on 5 continents; 1.8 billion avoidable Indian deaths from British-imposed deprivation, 1757-1947); 10 million Indians butchered in reprisals after the 1857 Rebellion; massive man-made famines in India from the 1769-1770 Bengal Famine (10 million killed) to the 1942-1945 Bengali Holocaust in which Churchill, with Australian complicity, deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death for strategic reasons; 1950-2005 avoidable deaths from deprivation in countries variously occupied by the UK in the post-WW2 era totaled 727 million (the corresponding figures being 142 million, 82 million and 24 million for people subject to France, the US and Apartheid Israel); and 12 million Muslim deaths since 1990 in the continuing UK and US War on Muslims, a Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide (for the Awful Truth see my books "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950"and "Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History", both now available for free perusal on the Web).
It is what is called "the left" (i.e. all decent, anti-racist humanitarians) who should be profoundly angered by the lying by omission (the Secret Lie) inherent in the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Google "Mainstream media lying": to discover numerous quotations from eminent writers about this obscenity. One of the more pertinent is that from Voltaire's "Candide" in which Pococurante declares: "I would be happy with the freedom that inspires the English geniuses if party feeling and party spirit didn't corrupt everything estimable in that precious freedom."
Barbara Kingsolver in her great novel "The Lacuna" (lacuna meaning hiatus, blank, missing part, gap, cavity, or empty space) has Russian Communist revolutionary and theorist Leon Trotsky (Lev) and his assistant Van have the following discussion about media (2009) that is acutely relevant to the severely edited, white-washed, partial, “Silent Lie” version of history presented by the oh-so-bold, “leftie”, socially conscious Opening Ceremony: ""But newspapers have a duty to truth", Van said. Lev [Trotsky] clicked his tongue. "They tell the truth only as the exception. Zola [French novelist of "J'accuse" fame] wrote that the mendacity of the press could be could be divided into two groups: the yellow press lies every day without hesitating. But others, like the Times, speak the truth on all inconsequential occasions, so they can deceive the public with the requisite authority when it becomes necessary." Van got up from his chair to gather the cast-off newspapers. Lev took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “I don't mean to offend the journalists; they aren't any different from other people. They're merely the megaphones of other people" … [Trotsky observes to his assistant Shepherd] “Soli, let me tell you. The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don't know”” (Barbara Kingsolver, “The Lacuna”, Faber & Faber, London, 2009, part 3, p159).
Mark Twain was even more pertinent in writing on lying by omission and “the silent lie” (1882): “An injurious lie is an uncommendable thing and so, also, and in the same degree, is an injurious truth--a fact that is recognized by the law of libel. Among other common lies we have the silent lie – the deception which one conveys by simply keeping still and concealing the truth. Many obstinate truth-mongers indulge in this dissipation, imagining that if they speak no lie, they lie not at all.”(Mark Twain (1882), “On the Decay of the Art of Lying”).
From an anti-racist humanitarian perspective, the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (in addition to being drab and uninspired from an artistic perspective) was damned by its genocide ignoring and holocaust ignoring, noting that genocide ignoring and holocaust ignoring are vastly worse than repugnant genocide denial and holocaust denial (variously criminalized in some European countries) because at least the latter admit the possibility of public discussion. What can decent people do when confronted with examples of the Silent Lie relating to greed-based mass murder of humanity? They should simply tell everyone they can. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity – we cannot walk by on the other side.
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|