[Marxism] World War 2: Myth of Liberation

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Fri Mar 17 23:26:14 MST 2006

After Pearl Harbor, Australian Prime Minister John Curtin declared: ‘we
are at war with Japan 
 because ... the rights of free people in the
whole Pacific are assailed.’ But how many Asians were free?

‘We have ruled here for 300 years with the whip and the club’, remarked
the Dutch Governor of Java, Bonifacius de Jonge, in 1935. Or consider
Australia's own colony in Papua New Guinea. In 1929, twelve years before
the war for ‘freedom’, black workers in Rabaul struck for higher pay.
Astonished to find themselves without breakfast, white mastas were
outraged. ‘My coon’s not here’ complained one; another grumbled that
there was ‘no response from the slave 
 the Government 
 is disgustingly
lenient with the natives 
 why, the only thing a native understands is a
beating.’ White police put the strike leaders on trial; and a white
magistrate jailed them ...

Across much of Asia, colonised peoples welcomed the Japanese advances.
They had shown it was possible to defeat the whites. This humiliation of
European arrogance had a profound impact. On hearing the Japanese had
landed in northern Malaya, Governor Shenton Thomas is said to have
blathered, ‘I trust you’ll chase the little men off’. But as the
Japanese advanced, whites got a shock ...

At the end of the war, in Eastern Indonesia, Australian troops helped
restore Dutch power, with terrible consequences. Their intervention in
Sulawesi paved the way for Dutch captain Paul Westerling, who:

"pioneered new methods in counter-insurgency. Whole villages were held
responsible for Republican atrocities in their areas, their inhabitants
being lined up and shot one after another until an informant spoke out.
Westerling’s reign of terror is reliably estimated to have cost as many
lives as the battle of Surabaya."


There is much more at the link below, as I continue to work through the
awful truth about Australia's role in World War II. It's all rough
drafts, and comment is more than welcome. I've already had a lot of
valuable feedback. Keep it coming!


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