Editor, The Times:
Around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries there were great tales of a “Yellow Peril” about to swamp western civilization. The opium dens—Dr. Fu Manchu—underground secret Chinese societies out to undermine civilized Christian society! Beware!
The truth was somewhat different, in fact very different. In the early 1800s England controlled a huge area of opium – growing country, stretching 500 miles across Bengal. One million Indians toiled under British supervision, producing the opium ball and where to sell this product? Well, China with its already burgeoning population was the obvious market.
At first this illegal selling of opium to China was conducted from large anchored barges in the Pearl River Delta. White Christian opium smugglers sold the opium to Chinese criminals who rowed it onto the Chinese mainland.
There was a problem here in 1839, the current “Son of Heaven” Chinese emperor put his foot down—no more.
So the British declared war. After all the opium was fueling a good part of the British Empire’s economy. Two wars, as a matter of fact, from 1839 to 1842 then from 1856 to 1860. Victoria grabbed Hong Kong then whenever the Chinese made any noises about halting the opium trade.
The British navy, which ruled the waves at the time would show up to disabuse them of any foolish notion like that.
The opium trade, which so beneficial to the British Empire, was devastating to China. Though not the entire reason for China’s collapse. Much of this came from just like India a short time before, an internal collapse. This was and is the nemesis of empires from the dawn of time to the present. However, the Victorian British pushed opium trade did nothing good for either India or China.
So when one hears Donald Trump’s ranting and raring about Latin American refugee bringing drugs and crime to the lily-white U.S. of A, remember it was U.S. intelligence that used proceeds of cocaine smuggling to fund their contra war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
While Ronald Reagan was declaring a great crusade, a war on drugs, there were exceptions. When the war was on “Evil Empire” communism—well eradicating drugs took a back seat.
So when one hears a lot of paranoia about immigrants and refugees, consider the source.
The facts could be somewhat different.