Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Those Turkish sods: They at least discuss it
You'll find as many views on the Orhan Pamuk trial as the number of publications you read or sites you browse. Ace journalist George Monbiot provides his twopence for Guardian. Oddly, there is little reference to the Turkish case against Pamuk. Rather, Monbiot draws attention to the melting away of large-scale British Empire atrocities into oblivion. He touches upon Lord Lytton's execrable policies during the Indian famine and the Kenyan Mau Mau revolt, among others.
He bemoans the cruel irony inherent in "There is one, rightly sacred Holocaust in European history". The other massacres are admittedly not sexy enough. They implicate the "wrong" perpetrators (the War victors) and attack "the idea of Britain’s basic benevolence".
He is bitter against the cloying conservatism of dailies like the Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph, which eulogize the Empire in glowing terms and overlook its sinister side.
The Pamuk trial, such is its nature, was bound to invite a barrage of opinion from across the globe, with every writer enriching the debate with contextual perspectives. Monbiot has made a consummate beginning in that direction.