Ashanti War (1873-4) Prah Bridge
The bridge included prefabricated spans and cribs constructed in Chatham for the occasion.
(Watercolour: Lieutenant Colonel H M Sinclair 1900)

Steve Gilliard was a tough minded and knowledgeable historian. I found his writing an inspiration, and there is something worth learning in each of the essays in this series. boor over at DailyKos has put together links for the complete set. I copy the links here so you may share them, and also so I’ll have the links handy to refer to myself.

Part 1 Things Fall Apart…

part 2 Savage, Bloody Affairs Filled With Massacres

part 3 A Bloody Affair on Both Sides

part 4 The Creation of the Belgian Congo

part 5 The Collapse of Beligian Rule

part 6 The UN and Congo

part 7 How did Indonesia Become a Colony?

part 8 Indonesian War of Independence

part 9 The Colonial Efforts of the Dutch were Fairly Bloody

part 10 The Bloody End to British Rule in Kenya

part 11 The Single Worst Massacre in Colonial History (Amritsar)

part 12 The Indian National Army

part 13 The Partition of India

part 14 The French Repression on Madagascar

part 15 Keeping the Natives in Line (Vietnam)

part 16 The End of Colonial Rule in Vietnam

part 17 Civilizing the Algerians

part 18 In the world of Beau Geste (Algiers)

part 19 Egypt’s riches have long been a source of colonial envy and desire… (France)

part 20 Egypt Continued (Turkey and Britain)

part 21 Egypt continued (Britain)

part 22 Egypt continued (Britain)

part 23 The Suez Canal

part 24 Can We Keep Our Colonies, Sir? (Middle East)

part 25 Algeria 1

part 26 Algeria 2

part 27 Algeria 3

part 28a Algeria 4 The Question of Torture

part 28b Algeria 5 The Legacy of Torture

part 29 Algeria 6 The War of the Algerians

part 30 Algeria 7 De Gaulle

part 31 Algeria 8 De Gaulle

part 32 World War I And The British Mandate

part 33 The Middle East

part 34 Imposing Brititsh Will on the Iraqi people

part 35 The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap… (T. E. Lawrence)

part 36 The 1941 Iraqi Coup

part 37 The Last Time (1941) Iraq Was Invaded

Under Bush the United States has opted for a policy of imperial domination of the whole planet. In other words, the world is a US colony. AFRICOM is part of this. They call it Full Spectrum Dominance. And this policy is the reason that the State Department and USAID, are being subsumed under the Pentagon, rather than operating independently in Africa. Diplomacy, economic, and political activity, are all dominated by the Department of Defense, the imperial operator in US dealings with the world.

In Africa, this new colonial imperialism is to secure African resources, oil, coltan, gems, etc, but primarily oil. The US has failed to learn two critical historical points, Gilliard writes:

  • Colonial occupations almost always cost far more than planned and produce negative earnings for the invader. Occupying Iraq and Afghanistan now costs at least US $6 billion monthly. The costs of garrisoning and running colonies usually exceeds what can be looted from them.

  • It’s always cheaper to buy resources than plunder them. The Soviets thought they would pay for their invasion of Afghanistan by stealing its natural gas. The Washington neo-conservatives who engineered the Iraq war ludicrously claimed its stolen oil would fully cover the costs of invasion and occupation.

There are many ways to pay for things, and sometimes the cheapest is money.