William Dalrymple writes of the Sepoy Mutiny and lessons to be drawn from same.Â I think he occasionally draws the wrong lessons.Â At one point Dalrymple says
…One was the rise of British power: in a few years the British had defeated not only the French, but all their other Indian rivals; and, in a manner not unlike the Americans after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the changed balance of power quickly led to undisguised imperial arrogance.
which doesn’t exactly match my memory of that time so much as it matches a stereotype of European anti-americanism.
The article is well worth reading, though; the story Dalrymple tells is one worth telling, and there are lessons to be learned which would be familiar to a Marine in the Philippines a hundred and twenty years later. Violence over time breaks all civilized taboos.Â War gets uglier as the war goes on.Â Stopping a jihad has been done using overwhelming brutality and inhumanity.Â It remains to be seen if jihad can be stopped the way we’re trying it.Â Those aren’t nice lessons to learn.
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