The Empire Strikes Back

Imperialism did almost as much harm to the ruling nations as it did to their subject peoples.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 9th October 2012
Over the gates of Auschwitz were the words ?Work Makes You Free?. Over the gates of the Solovetsky camp in Lenin?s gulag: ?Through Labour ? Freedom!?. Over the gates of the Ngenya detention camp, run by the British in Kenya: ?Labour and Freedom?(1). Dehumanisation appears to follow an almost inexorable course.
Last week, three elderly Kenyans established the right to sue the British government for the torture they suffered ? castration, beating and rape ? in the Kikuyu detention camps it ran in the 1950s.
Many tens of thousands were detained and tortured in the camps. I won?t spare you the details: we have been sparing ourselves the details for far too long. Large numbers of men were castrated with pliers(1). Others were anally raped, sometimes with the use of knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels and scorpions(1). Women had similar instruments forced into their vaginas. The guards and officials sliced off ears and fingers, gouged out eyes, mutilated women?s breasts with pliers, poured paraffin over people and set them alight. Untold thousands died. Continue reading “The Empire Strikes Back”