Claim Reparations


“Why don’t you go back to your country” has become a typical response to any non-Westerner, who lives in the West but continues to criticize the Western governments’ double standards, outright lies and continuing massacre for consolidating occupations.

Many prominent “scholars” now use this sarcastic, childish remark in a way as if approving modern-day barbarism is a prerequisite to living in the West. However, this is a sign of the defeatist mentality, not an argument that may exonerate modern day barbarians.

Apparently, it may seem that the suffering part of the humanity is manipulating elite nations’ good intentions and concerns for human rights simply to secure living in the West. There is no doubt that millions of people cheat one way or the other to reach and stay in the Western countries. However, it is wrong to assume that the Western nations are victims of their respect for human rights or lax immigration policies.

Undoubtedly, Western countries allow immigrants and provide protection to thousands of asylum seekers each year. Nevertheless, they are victim only of their double standards for human rights and their past and present deadly interventions in the less developed countries. The West is directly responsible for these states’ low standard of development, political instability and inability to stem the tides of migrants to the West.

Provide Palestinians and Algerians, for instance, with real justice and the West would not need to house many refugees out of its human rights concerns. But as long as dictators like Musharraf and Mubarak are officially welcomed at the highest levels, accommodating their victims at lower level must not be taken as a manipulation of good intentions.

In the case of genuine asylum seekers and legal immigrants, the West is behind sustaining repressive governments and lack of opportunities respectively in their respective countries. In the case of fake asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, the West is responsible for the compounding problems in these countries.

Of course, China, Germany and Japan are good examples of discipline and responsibility, which took these nations from ashes to the most stable positions. That, however, is not the case with many former colonies –” particularly Muslim countries, where the masses never get relief from the yoke of indirect occupation and continued interventions of their former colonial masters.

No one leaves home to live in the West simply for the values and ideals that the West cherishes for itself. Critics of the West continue to live in the West not because of its professed ideals and values, but because of its sponsoring the denial of these values and opportunities in other lands. If all are not genuine asylum seekers, most of the legal and illegal immigrants to the West are definitely economic refugees.

The luxurious lifestyle of the elite classes and facilities availed by common man in the imperialist nations attracts many legal and illegal economic refugees from the oppressed world. Very few however know that a major portion of this glamour is a direct result of the West’s super-exploitations of physical and human resources of the former colonies.

Now that the West is closing its doors on mainly Muslim and partly other little brown immigrants, former colonies also reserve the right to demand both self-rule and damages for years of occupation, plunder and genocide to make life easy for their people in the East.

It is interesting to note that Western governments ask for restitutions from Libya for its alleged involvement in the bombing of Pan Am 103. Similarly, their milking of Iraq never comes to an end for its 6 months occupation.

On the other hand, the more than 100-years long British occupation of the Indian sub-continent, for example, is considered justified and any talk of reparation is at best laughable for the occupiers.

The seeds of mutual destruction and animosity sown by the colonial powers are compounding problems in former colonies. Take the example of India. Pakistan topped the list of refugee claimants in Canada in 2001. India was not far behind at 6th place.

History tells us that these colonies have starved their people to death in anticipation of a third major war. Responsibility for this deadly resolve for mutual destruction and a steady flow of immigrants in search of peace and security for securing a better future goes to the British imperialists.

Prof B. N. Pande’s speech in the Indian Upper House of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, made on July 29, 1977 clarifies the fog of British innocence surrounding this issue. He says:

"Indian history and its distortion by the British historians, while India was under British rule, portraying the Hindus and the Muslims as being divided into two warring camps with little in common between them,…. the histories of India which have been taught in our schools and colleges for generations past were originally compiled by European writers…. A glimpse into official British records will show how this policy of Divide-et-Impera was taking shape. The Secretary of State Wood in a letter to Lord Elgin [Governor General Canada (1847-54) and India (1862-63)] said: ‘We have maintained our power in India by playing off one part against the other and we must continue to do so. Do all you can, therefore to prevent all having a common feeling.’ George Francis Hamilton, Secretary of State of India wrote to Curzon, ‘I think the real danger to our rule in India not now, but say 50 years hence is the gradual adoption and extension of Western ideas of agitation organisation and if we could break educated Indians into two sections holding widely different views, we should, by such a division, strengthen our position against the subtle and continuous attack which the spread of education must make upon our system of government. We should so plan educational text-books that the differences between community and community are further strengthened (Hamilton to Curzon, 26th March 1886). …. Cross informed the Governor-General, Dufferin, that ‘This division of religious feeling is greatly to our advantage….’ (Cross to Dufferin, 14 January, 1887)."[1]

India and Pakistan are still reaping fruits of the British strategy to divide religious feelings. Raising Babri mosque to the ground is nothing before crimes of the colonialists because the Indian government did not officially order its destruction. However, the Colonialists issued official orders, stating: "Every civil building connected with Mahommedan tradition should be levelled to the ground without regard to antiquarian veneration or artistic predilection.”[2]

Compare these crimes with the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan statues, who, at least, did not order to level every church and temple to the ground. To day the same Barbarians are once more occupying Afghanistan to teach them democracy and respect for human rights. In the process they are further prolonging a transition to self rule and pro-people development on the one hand and accumulating debt for the damages they are inflicting on helpless nation.

Haiti is a good example for the oppressed world to follow with regard to claiming reparations. According to the Wall Street Journal’s January 2, 2004 report, the Haitian government is preparing a legal brief demanding nearly $22 billion in "restitution" for what it regards as an act of gunboat diplomacy of France.[3]

More than two decades after rebellious former slaves vanquished troops from Napoleon’s army in Haiti in 1803, France’s King Charles X made the fledgling republic of Haiti an offer it couldn’t refuse. In 1825, as the king’s warships cruised just over the horizon from Haiti, a French emissary demanded 150 million gold francs in exchange for recognizing the new republic. The implicit alternative was invasion and re-enslavement. It was a huge sum, about five times Haiti’s annual export revenue. Haiti reluctantly agreed, taking on a crushing debt.

Haiti now wants its money back –” with interest. France’s response hasn’t been encouraging. In June, French President Jacques Chirac addressed the issue by warning Haitian authorities "to take care over the nature of the actions of their regime."

The interesting point in the Haiti’s saga is the tone of Wall Street Journal’s report, which also tries to dismiss Haiti’s claim for the reason that Aristide just wants their money to pay his goons. This tone represents the point of view that even if reparations are paid, it will be wasted by corrupt regimes. Actually, the Wall Street Journal’s reporter forgets that since September 19, 1994 invasion, Bill Clinton always listed restoring priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power at or near the top of his accomplishments, called "restoring democracy to Haiti."

In fact, there are so many Aristides sitting in power due to intervention of the "civilized" world in the name of democracy and liberation. The West would do a favor by letting them remove their respective Aristides and paying them damages for real development. If Kuwait deserves damages for living under Iraqi occupation just for six months, there is no reason others do not deserve damages for suffering under imperial occupation for 100 years in some cases.

What the West must not forget at its peril is that the clock that runs at a rate of $34 a second for Haiti, runs at a much higher rate in favor of the rest of the world that lived and is still living under its occupation.

Former colonial masters must brace for honestly assessing the situation, say good bye to needless interventions and attempt to find ways for calculating and paying damages. Failing to so will never change the rule of nature: first or last, a nation must pay its entire debt. Some events may stand for a time between a nation and justice, but it is only a postponement.

The suffering nations must also muster enough courage to remind the slave masters that a nation is wise, which dreads a prosperity achieved on blood and bones of other nations. Unless the victims demand for reparations and struggle for their right, they will remain doomed as ever.

Analysts, who criticize Western double standards, continue to live in the West simply because they consider their countries more in the hands of Western tyrants than their own people. The Western barbarians cannot commit the crimes against innocent persons at home which they can commit through their stooges in the East. Deportations from the West for torturing citizens in the oppressive regimes in the East are glaring examples in this regard.

There is no need to ask why critics of the Western barbarism do no go back to their countries. They definitely will, once their movement for self-rule and securing reparations bear some fruit. At the moment countries under the direct and indirect occupations belong more to the imperialists in the West than to analysts from these countries.


[1]. History in the Service of Imperialism, by Dr. B. N. Pande Source:

[2]. Letter No. 9 dated 9 October 1857, from Prime Minister Palmerston (1784-1865) to Lord Canning Viceroy of India, Canning Papers.

[3]. “Impoverished Haiti Pins Hopes for Future On a Very Old Debt,” The Wall Street Journal Friday, January 2, 2004.