November 20, 2004

Winston Review, No. 20


"To everything we know there is a season — a time for sadness, a time for struggle, a time for rebuilding. And now we have reached a time for hope. This young century will be liberty's century."
- George W. Bush


The French colony of Saint-Domingue used to be some of the most valuable real-estate in the world. What was to become Haiti was also the scene of mind boggling atrocity founded in a society whose economic basis was slavery and whose logic was race. I cannot imagine the state of mind of those slaves who, in August 1791, marched on Cap Français under a standard whose emblem was a white baby impaled on a spear. Torn from family and home, surviving the Middle Passage and worked to death or born into that work with no name but that of your owner and subject to his every sadistic whim. Who would not be driven insane with helplessness and rage?

Adam Zamoyski's Holy Madness tells the story in the context of nascent nationalisms of the late 18th-century and those peculiar notions of liberty that could encompass a universal rights of man and the ownership, degredation and abuse of other human beings.

A good example of the volitional myopia affecting the French is furnished by Ségur, who had disembarked on the banks of the Delaware in May 1781 to join Rochambeau's army. He found the countryside beautiful. The houses appeared more comfortable, the clothes more elegant, the manners more attractive, the parties more fun, and the women prettier than in the old world. He was full of praise for their unaffected simplicity and clear-cut morality. 'It is with infinite regret that I leave a land where people are, natuarally and effortlessly, what they should be everywhere, sincere and free,' he wrote as he prepared to sail from America a couple years later. His way back to France lay via the French colony of Saint-Domingue, and he decided to take the opportunity to visit a plantation he happened to own on the island. He was enchanted by the place and moved by the apparent joy with which his five hundred slaves greeted their unknown master. He gave them a day off work and generously paid for a feast. With deep sensibilité Ségur watched has grateful slaves as they danced for him, and his companion Alexandre Berthier sketched the touching scene.

Slavery was real and in parts of the world subject to an ideology of race and mastery persists to this day. There is nothing imaginary about a distortion of human life and dignity all too recently put into question by light and reason. Consequently I find nothing amusing or clever in maps that compare "red states" to the Confederacy or cartoons that would lynch the character and consequence of public officials appointed to high office. Don't like President Bush, his policies or his administration? Get in line. But level racist taunts in place of reasoned argument and you deserve nothing but contempt.

The Winston Review is a Flea-feature intended to offer spirited, uplifting alternatives to the defeatists and apologists of the mainstream media. This week's Review is dedicated to the next Secretary of State for the United States of America, Dr. Condoleezza Rice. God bless and Godspeed your work.


This week in the Red Box:

A German Lesson for Remaking Iraq: Anne Applebaum argues that even when every effort meets with success "the psychological transition to liberal democracy from a regime ruled by fear is one that takes at least one generation, if not two" (via A&L Daily).

Random thoughts while holding at the CP...: Argghhh!!! posts thoughts about the urban fighting effectiveness of American forces.

Hate, terrors and racism: Tim Blair points to an email received by Iraqi blogger, Hammorabi (via Dodgeblogium).

Why Theo Van Gogh Was Murdered: Theodore Dalrymple argues that "unilateral tolerance in a world of intolerance is like unilateral disarmament in a world of armed camps: it regards hope as a better basis for policy than reality."

In Their Own Words: Joseph D'Hippolito compares the rhetoric of jihadism and Naziism (via lgf).

The press is hiding the slaughterhouses of Fallujah: JunkYardBlog asks why the MSM will not show us one of the reasons the Marines took back Fallujah (via Instapundit).

Politics and remembrance II: Oliver Kamm discusses the immoral history of pacifism (via Daimnation!).

Stay home, you pathetic whining maggots: Ian Robinson offers some, dare I say it, less than Canadian-sounding advice to those wishing to flee the United States (via The Raging Kraut).

A Saudi Protest March: Stephen Schwartz writing for the Daily Standard points to a march for women's rights in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington (via Instapundit).

Don't mess with Texas: Suburban Blight describes Dr. Rice as "an iron-spined woman to be reckoned with, on the verge of assuming what is arguably the second most powerful political position on the planet."

Mujahidin terrorised Fallujah, residents say: The Times of London reports on jihadi rule. Though I expect for many this will somehow be blamed on the Americans, the Jews, childhood spanking, etc. and so forth.

Operation Phantom Fury: USA Today has an impressive pictorial essay of American operations in Fallujah (via The Castle).

Into the Hot Zone: Michael Ware has gripping stories of the fight for Fallujah (via INDC Journal).

Bush country: David Warren quotes Richard Perle's response to the opinion war never solves anything, "It has a better track-record than social work."

Your courage. Your cheerfulness. Your resolution.
Will bring us Victory.

Posted by the Flea at November 20, 2004 09:57 AM | TrackBack
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