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Pterygium - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

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Nile Gardiner has written a column, available at National Review Online, titled, A British Blunder. The column's first two paragraphs contain these sentences:

"Over the last 200 years, Great Britain has waged more wars and won more conflicts than any other nation in the world. From the Falkland Islands to Sudan to the North West Frontier, British soldiers have left their mark with a distinguished record of heroism, sacrifice, and bravery. That tradition continues today in Iraq and in Afghanistan, where more than 250 British servicemen have laid down their lives for queen and country. It is a proud history that has earned Britain a reputation as a great warrior nation."

Great warrior nation, indeed! But it never acquired a proud reputation as a great civilizing nation. And that's the shame of it all. Great conqueror, plunderer, and exploiter? Yes! Great civilizer? No! And since the end of World War II and the decline of the British Empire, what the world has inherited is "one fine mess." In a November, 2002 interview with UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, published in the New Statesman magazine, even he blamed Britain's imperial past for many of the world's present problems.

Look at the list of these places where Great Britain has left its sordid influence.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq where wars supposedly against the Taliban in hopes of snaring Osama bin Laden are causing utter destruction and enormous loss of life. The Sudan where genocide is a common practice. Myanmar where a military government is killing its Buddhist monks and protesters. India and Bangladesh where sectarian violence has never abated. Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, all of which have been devastated by the admitted prevarication of the British government.

"The Balfour declaration," Jack Straw said, "and the contradictory assurances which were being given to Palestinians in private at the same time as they were being given to the Israelis . . . [is] interesting history for us, but not an honorable one." And in a 1919 memorandum, Arthur James Balfour, Britain's Foreign Secretary, wrote about these contradictory assurances: "The contradiction between the letter of the Covenant is even more flagrant in the case of the independent nation of Palestine than in that of the independent nation of Syria. For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. . . . The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in future hopes, is of far profounder importance than the desire and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land."

And lest we forget. Great Britain was the first drug pushing nation, having fought two wars in China to protect its opium trade.

What nice people these British have been!

Of course, Britain today is not so Great; it now refers to itself not as Great Britain but as the United Kingdom, and this kingdom today consists of only the partially willing. The sun now daily sets on the empire on which the sun once never set.

Great warrior nation, indeed, which for more than a century now could and can not even protect itself, except from minor foes such as Argentina (the Falkland Island War).

Unfortunately, the United States has assumed the British mantle and has stepped in where Britain withdrew. In the twentieth century, Great Britain, along with France and other European countries, discovered that they could not afford to maintain and defend an empire. Americans may soon find themselves coming to that realization too. Then the money and lives squandered will haunt us, perhaps, forever.
©2007, John Kozy

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