Monday, November 12, 2012

Quotable quotes from the wonderful world of free speechers ... Part 21

George     Wyman   Bury  Explorer, naturalist, author and Political observer-cum-British agent critical of  colonial rule in the Middle East and Asia. Unfortunately you won't read much about him on the internet.  People who criticized the colonial rule of the British empire and their forays into and rape of  far away lands,of the East and Africa were neither knighted nor acknowledged and had to live out their lives unknown to all but a few. He was born in 1874 and to the world the man as well as his existence  was so inconsequential that even his date of death is not available on the net ... at least not at the places I looked.  The quotes below are from his book "Pan-Islam".

"Empirical statements sound well and look well in print, but they are no use whatever as sailing directions in the uncharted waters of Arabian politics."

"If Turk and Mongol had been capable of dynastic evolution and co-ordinate policy they might have shared most of the Eastern Hemisphere between them. We have seen the high-water mark of the Ottoman Empire; Marco Polo has told us of Kubla Khan's Chinese Empire, and the Moguls did much for India in their prime. But the wolf-taint was in their blood, and just as a pet wolf gets fat and degenerate, so it has been with these Tartars. Their undoubted soldierly qualities are sapped by luxury, and they possess no constructive gifts which peace and prosperity might develop. Hence it is that every empire they have founded has risen to a culminating point of conquest and then dwindled away in sloth and corruption."

"The Turk is not fit to be put in charge of any race but his own, for he is at heart a bitter wolf who will turn and rend without ruth or warning. I have met Turks who have shown tact, humanity, and ability under trying conditions, and I have met well-mannered wolves in captivity, but would not trust the pack ranging in its native forest."

"Perhaps the strongest factor in pan-Islam as a political movement or a world-wide fellowship is the Meccan pilgrimage."

"Uncivilised Moslems view with suspicion and, in fact, derision the dress and customs of their civilised co-religionists, insisting that European coats and trousers display the figure indecently and that their Frankish luxuries and amusements are snares of Eblis."

"Each one presents the one and only solution of the whole Arabian problem according to the facet which the writer has seen, and there are many facets. They are amusing and even instructive occasionally, but there is a serious side to them—their crass empiricism. Each writer presents (quite honestly, perhaps) his point of view of one or two facets in the rough-cut, many-sided and clouded crystal of Arabian politics without considering its possible bearing on other parts of the peninsula or even other factors in the district he knows or has read about. The net result is an appallingly crude patchwork, no one piece harmonising with another, and, in view of the habit Government has formed in these cases of accepting empirical opinions if they are shouted loud enough or at close range, there is more than a possibility that our Arabian policy may resemble such a crazy quilt. If it does, we shall have to harvest a thistle-crop of tribal and intertribal trouble throughout the Arabian peninsula, and the seed-down of unrest will blow all over Syria and Mesopotamia just at the most awkward time when reconstruction and sound administration are struggling to establish themselves. Weeds grow quicker and stronger than useful plants in any garden."

"Deportation is not only tyrannically harsh but impracticable, for unless they were dumped to die in the waste places of the earth, which is unthinkable, some other nation must receive them, and even the most philanthropic Government would hesitate to upset its economic conditions by admitting unproductive hordes of sweated labour and skilled exploiters.  There are only two logical alternatives to such an impasse. One is to treat such subject-races so well that they may be trusted not to use their peculiar abilities against the interests of their adoptive country, which would  then be their interests too, and the other is to exterminate them, which is inhuman. There is no middle course."

"If you try to grow garden flowers in the rich, rank irrigation soil of the Nile valley they flourish luxuriantly, but soon develop a marked tendency to revert to their wild type, and it is permissible to suppose that human character is even more sensitive to its mental and physical surroundings.  Any observant teacher of oriental youth will tell you that the promise of their precocious ability is seldom fulfilled by their maturity"

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