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The New Imperialism

Commentary by Greg Lewis / WashingtonDispatch.com
February 3, 2004

Leftists everywhere decry America's "imperialism," seeing our liberation of Iraq, for example, as a disguised attempt to gain control over one of the middle east's most important sources of oil rather than as an attempt to give democracy a foothold there. What is lost to them and unacknowledged by liberal media is that there is a new imperialism at large in the world today, and it consists not of America's exportation of democracy — which is precisely anti-imperialistic — but of the Angry Left exporting their ideas by means of promoting world policies that kill and enslave millions in the so-called Third World.

The most egregious policies of the new-left imperialists revolve around environmentalism, though they can also be seen in the left's promotion of its anti-war agenda and in its implicit vilification of western ideals, including freedom itself, by its unwillingness to oppose tyrannical regimes and the corrupt practices of the United Nations. It has been recently revealed that some 270 world political figures and organizations were bribed into opposing the United States' liberation of Iraq. Small wonder, then, that leaders in France and Russia and many in Britain mounted such a spirited defense of Saddam Hussein. If they had managed to insure that he had remained in power, they would have lined their pockets with millions of dollars by selling at a profit oil that the Iraqi dictator had guaranteed they could buy on the cheap.

In this can be seen the extent and nature of the corruption of both the anti-war movement and the United Nations Oil for Food program. The latter has been described as a black hole down which billions of dollars disappeared as Saddam's regime and those outside Iraq whom he paid off helped the Iraqi dictator maintain his desperate hold on power. Is it any wonder the Chirac and Putin governments — to mention only two of several — sided with Iraq against the United States in the run-up to war? It also proved very convenient for the anti-war movement to have such high-profile allies as the French and Russian leaders to help push forward the cause they so disingenuously promote. To see anti-war protestors as anything more than shills for a still viable communist movement is to give them vastly undeserved credit.

But as deplorable as these actions are, those of the environmental movement have resulted in uncounted lives lost unnecessarily during the past 30 years as they promoted an agenda that, ultimately, killed millions of Third World people. These people were killed because they were denied protection — in the name of protecting the environment — against a deadly disease, malaria, that had been eradicated in the west. You've heard the term "village idiot?" Well, meet the "global village idiots," the environmentalists.

Since Rachel Carson's book, "The Silent Spring," marked the inception of the environmental movement in the early 1960s, environmentalists have been deploring the use of DDT as a pesticide, claiming, almost exclusively on the basis of anecdotal evidence such as that presented by Carson, that it does irreparable damage to the environment and to living creatures of all kinds. The world could not survive the continued use of this pesticide, went their mantra, and they prevailed. The world no longer has to try to survive the use of this pesticide. Unfortunately, many of its citizens have to try to survive the fact that it is no longer being used. This has proved difficult.

DDT is the one pesticide that is effective against the anopheles mosquito, the insect that carries malaria. By the time the environmentalists got around to getting the substance banned, malaria was no longer a threat in the developed world. Thanks to DDT, we had eliminated the disease. By the way, we had also proven that it was not a threat to human health. In one experiment in the late 1950s — well before the furor against DDT even began — a man was fed 35 milligrams of DDT every day for two years . . . . with no ill effects!

This is cold comfort, however, to as many as 30 million people who have died of malaria in underdeveloped countries since the environmentalists got DDT put on the list of endangered pesticides. When Sri Lanka banned the use of DDT in 1964, the number of cases of the disease in that country was reported at 29. Five years later that number was more than 500,000. It was to these people, and to victims of a malaria crisis of huge proportions in Africa, that GreenPeace and the World Wildlife Federation turned a blind eye. They literally watched millions of Africans die of malaria because of their policies, and they did nothing. This single ill-considered, ill-advised, unwarranted action — the banning of the pesticide DDT at the insistence of the environmental movement — has been responsible for as many deaths as Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward in China in the late 1950s and early '60s. The fact that there were monsters directing policy in both cases does not lessen the tragedy.

The exportation of unproven Western liberal/leftist scientific dogma — and not the exploitation of the resources of conquered nations — is one of the key forms taken by the new imperialism. Third World nations are often powerless to resist these ideas, even though they — and, as is the case with DDT, the scientists putting them forth! — know they are faulty.

Indeed, it has been suggested by some even more cynical about the Left than I that the banning of DDT was the liberal intelligentsia's way of imposing zero population growth on portions of the world where the population explosion was threatening to get out of hand. In much the same way as earlier colonial powers conquered and exploited these nations, left/liberals now invade them and take them over by means of invalid intellectual constructs and principles and wreak havoc that is easily as deadly and demoralizing as the weapons of invading colonialists of centuries past.

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