Nation-building in South Asia

This would need clarification in the constitution. Presumably Jinnah, the lawyer, would be just the person to correlate the “true Islamic principles” one heard so much about in Pakistan with the new nation’s laws. But all he would tell me was that the constitution would be democratic because “the soil is perfectly fertile for democracy.”
What plans did he have for the industrial development of the country? Did he hope to enlist technical or financial assistance from America?

“America needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs America,” was Jinnah’s reply. “Pakistan is the pivot of the world, as we are placed” — he revolved his long forefinger in bony circles — “the frontier on which the future position of the world revolves.”

He leaned toward me, dropping his voice to a confidential note. “Russia,” confided Mr. Jinnah, “is not so very far away.”

This had a familiar ring. In Jinnah’s mind this brave new nation had no other claim on American friendship than this — that across a wild tumble of roadless mountain ranges lay the land of the Bolsheviks.

I wondered whether the Quaid-i-Azam considered his new state only as an armored buffer between opposing major powers. He was stressing America’s military interest in other parts of the world.

“America is now awakened,” he said with a satisfied smile. Since the United States was now bolstering up Greece and Turkey, she should be much more interested in pouring money and arms into Pakistan.

“If Russia walks in here,” he concluded, “the whole world is menaced.”

In the weeks to come I was to hear the Quaid-i-Azam’s thesis echoed by government officials throughout Pakistan.

“Surely America will build up our army,” they would say to me. “Surely America will give us loans to keep Russia from walking in.”

But when I asked whether there were any signs of Russian infiltration, they would reply almost sadly, as though sorry not to be able to make more of the argument, “No, Russia has shown no signs of being interested in Pakistan.”

This hope of tapping the U. S. Treasury was voiced so persistently that one wondered whether the purpose was to bolster the world against Bolshevism or to bolster Pakistan’s own uncertain position as a new political entity.

Excerpt from Margaret Bourke-White’s 1949 book, “Halfway to Freedom”. Via Pundita.

Chicago Boyz readers (and bloggers) tend to show a keen interest in history. As a historical recording, the above excerpt is fascinating. And chilling.

Pundita opines that the above excerpt holds many lessons for AF-PAK today. I am curious as to our reader’s opinions on the subject.

UPDATE: There is much more at the link than the bit I’ve highlighted. That wasn’t clear in my original post. Sorry.

“Chesterton’s Warning”

It sounds like a preoccupation of the exotic fringe to most of us now, but nine decades ago eugenics was openly advocated as a mainstream Progressive idea. Indeed, the most certifiably advanced minds of the day promoted and celebrated it. In 1923, former President Charles W. Eliot of Harvard, U.S. Senator Royal Copeland of New York, former President David Starr Jordan of Indiana and Stanford Universities, President Livingston Farrand of Cornell University, and a host of other educational, medical and social-welfare luminaries making up the Eugenics Committee of the United States came forth with a program calling for “selective immigration, sterilization of defectives and control of everything having to do with the reproduction of human beings.” In 1932, Margaret Sanger, founder of the organization that would eventually become Planned Parenthood, advocated “a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” Nor was support restricted to a secularist avant-garde. As Christine Rosen has shown, many American Christian and Jewish religious leaders, including even some Roman Catholics, were fully supportive of eugenic ideas and policies. It was no fringe phenomenon.1

Wilfred M. McClay, The American Interest.

Airbrushing history

A new museum of World War II is opening in London. Some anonymous nanny stater has taken the liberty of airbrushing the cigar from Winston Churchill’s mouth.

nonsmoke

It isn’t even a very good job as the whole lower left side of his face is distorted. The museum directors say they don’t know who did it. It is a mystery but not surprising.

The FDR Memorial that was put up in Washington a few years ago, does not show FDR with his cigarette holder that was so characteristic of him in public. I gave a cigarette holder like that to my grandfather when I was a child. He loved it because it made him look like FDR.

The FDR Memorial shows something that was never seen in public when he was alive. He is shown in a wheelchair. He would never have allowed that but the modern nannies have to draw the last drop of sanctimonious pap from the scene.

Thus goes the slow decline of common sense and reality in our lives and those of our friends.