Friday, 5 September 2008

Weaning Hearts and Minds

Present-day British and American colonialists in Iraq and Afghanistan, with all the bullshit rhetoric about 'winning hearts and minds' could really learn something (about not invading countries) from the Partisan example. The only real victory in war is 'moral' victory, and after more than five years - longer than WWII - neither conflict (Afghanistan/Iraq) is over. Here are a couple more interesting bits from Hoare's book, Genocide and Resistance in Hitler's Bosnia: The Partisans and the Chetniks, 1941-1943:

"The Serb Partisan Ilija Vukoman recalls that in Central Bosnia: 'The Muslim women used to hide themselves - they wore the veil. I passed hundreds of times by the house of Muharem Baric and his wife without ever seeing her face. When the uprising began and work for the People's Liberation Movement got underway, Muharem's wife and many other Muslim women ceased hiding themselves from us.' [footnote omitted]"

"Zaga Umicevic-Mala recalls a young Muslim woman she met in Banja Luka, Nazifa Isakovic, who was recruited into the NOP by her brother Zaim, a Communist. Nazifa worshipped her brother and would carry out any task for the movement that he asked of her but, she told Umicevic-Mala, 'the only thing I could not do would be to take off my veil'. Two years later Umicevic-Mala met Nazifa again, as a Partisan and without her veil. 'Her blonde hair was flowing in the wind and her big blue eyes were happily gazing at the world around her.' Umicevic-Mala asked: 'Naza, what's happened to your veil? Do you remember what you said to me at Banja Luka?' Nazifa replied: 'I did not know how wonderful it is to gaze at the world without a headscarf'."...(287)

Yep, that's what happens when you actually inspire people. And guess what, boys - you don't inspire people by invading and demolishing their countries and homes, terrorising them, murdering their relatives, putting them in prison, cuffing them, stuffing them full with McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King and bullshit rhetoric about democracy and human rights, and shoving ballots in their faces. Nope. Capitalism inspires fuck all.

No comments: