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[P]
Native American History Absent From Historical Analysis of Terrorism

By turmeric in Op-Ed
Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 10:31:01 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

I have heard perhaps 5-10 times a day analogies between the current US situation and past situations in US history. I have heard mostly about Pearl Harbor, a bit about WWI, and people's memory seems to stop there. If I am lucky I will hear something about the revolutionary war or the civil war. But this is like talking about your parents without mentioning your mother.


One of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil happened back in the 1500s. A man named Hernando De Soto went traipsing around the Southeastern United States. He indiscriminately enslaved, murdered, and raped countless Americans (as back then, the general European name for Natives was simply 'American'). His barbarity was so cruel that his own men were apalled. But they and many other Europens felt that killing an American was no more than slaughtering a cow or a dog. First of all they weren't Christian, second of all they were living a stone age lifestyle.

When this sort of thing is taught in modern US schools, it is spinned so that US children are taught to hate the Spanish crown's imperialism of centuries past. I cannot help but wonder if this was influenced by the Spanish American war at the turn of the 19th-20th century, when for us to be righteous the US must have been fighting an evil enemy.

But, like the way British like to blame the Inquisition on the Spanish, it is hypocrisy. Many years later the English/German/Dutch/French/etc descendents in America would practice their own form of conquistadorism, comitting countless terrorist attacks against Native Americans in the name of religion or greed or progress. These included invading villages, killing civilians, torturing captives, and sticking the enemies heads on pikes in the town square.

Unsurprisingly, the Native Americans fought back. They proved themselves just as capable of fighting dirty as the Europeans, by invading towns, killing civilians, torturing them, and mutilating the dead. Unfortunately this did not solve anything, rather it escalated the situation such that general Euro-US opinion of Natives was that of 'savage barbarians'. If the standard news folks traveled back in time to cover the stories they would probably call it 'terrorism'.

The height of these battles were in the 16-1800s. Modernly docile places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusettes, Vermont, Florida, Carolina, Upstate New York, etc, were racked with violence and warfare. Towns were burned down. A single murder could escalate into a few more murders in retaliation, then a few more to retalite for those, going back and forth between the combatant parties until there was all out warfare. Families would be woken from sleep and then bloodily slaughtered and mutilated. Nobody felt safe or secure. They sought refuge from their pain in racism, cultural superiority, and militarism. Eventually, the problem was "solved", because the European-US population managed to kill or 'remove' the vast majority of non-Europeans to either the afterlife or to reservations in the central US or in Canada.

Perhaps that is why the US does not like to talk about this today, it reminds people of things they would rather not think about. Modern people feel no less a sense of loss, hatred, and rage when they are attacked with violence, such as on 9/11. The way they deal with these feelings is not much different from the way they did 300 years ago, either: racism, cultural superiority, and militarism. One need look no further than the columns of Ann Coulter to see all 3 wrapped up in a nice neat bundle. Or scan one of the numerous headlines that adopts a 'why do -they- hate -us-', lumping the entire billion-plus world muslim population in with a couple hundred al qaeda thugs. Or look at the millions of US citizens who agree with this viewpoint.

However, over time, many US citizens had become quite ashamed of the history the US has had with Native Americans. As time passes and emotional wounds heal, people begin to regret their actions (or even the actions of their ancestors). They begin to ask 'why did this happen', why were the Navajo or Cherokee decimated in forced marches, why were old women and children killed in some effort to 'civilize' the country? Some of the answers were racism, cultural superiority, , militarism, and greed. But if those were the reasons that the US did evil back hundreds of years ago, is the US now immune from having those same feelings? And if not, is the US not still capable of performing the same evils as it did back then?

I believe this is why I have not heard much about Native American history when I hear about the history of terrorism on US soil. People have found ways to deal with their pain, and they do not want to search further for other solutions. It is much easier to justify racism and miliatrism than it is to search for alternatives. Thus, since the US has in general felt pretty good about winning WWII, that is endlessly trotted out as an example of why the US needs to become militaristic and racist again. But the US has in recent years had very mixed feelings about winning all those other wars, the Narragansett war, the Pequot war, the Beaver wars, Wounded Knee, and countless other wars that don't even have names. That is why the US cannot bring itself to include these wars in the analysis of 'past terrorist attacks on US soil'. It is just too painful.

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Native American History Absent From Historical Analysis of Terrorism | 109 comments (77 topical, 32 editorial, 0 hidden)
So what? (3.75 / 8) (#5)
by DarkZero on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 10:38:41 AM EST

The ninja clans that started cropping around the 8th century in Japan were terrorists in every possible sense of the very broad word, but we have to draw the line at some point and at some time. The recent history (19th or 20th century) of our own country (since you seem to be talking about discussions among Americans) seems like a perfectly reasonable line to me. Sure there's more information to be given, but most of it is somewhat redundant and isn't crucial to tying a historical example to a contemporary point. It's more the realm of books, academic discussion, and other "would you like to know more?" types of forums than to current political discussions.

Just wrong (4.60 / 5) (#7)
by godix on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 11:23:17 AM EST

"Perhaps that is why the US does not like to talk about this today,"

I haven't seen a discussion that has mentioned Native Americans and HASN'T mentioned European treatment of them for ages, the Trail of Tears being the most popular thing to bring up. I enjoy history so read quite a few history books, every single one of them points out how the Indians were murdered, enslaved, raped, and had diseases intentionally inflicted on them. America isn't trying to hide what was done to the Indians, it's just that the word 'terrorism' generally invokes mental images of things done more recently than a few hundred years ago.


Don't mind the plummeting noise, mojo always makes that sound after I post.


i mean talking about terrorism (3.00 / 3) (#9)
by turmeric on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 11:59:34 AM EST

discussions of terrorism never seem to mention the Indian Wars

[ Parent ]
That's because (4.50 / 4) (#10)
by godix on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 12:08:20 PM EST

The most recent Indian war was 150 years ago, most of Europeans and the US's actions against Indians were military in nature instead of stealth attacks from civilians (although those happened as well), the word 'terrorist' is rather modern so people only equate it with modern incidents, and in the recent past there have been so many terrorist incidents throughtout the world that we don't need to go back to the Indian wars for comparison. I'm not suprised that Indian wars aren't mentioned, I am suprised that the 1972 Israeli Olympic attack aren't though.


Don't mind the plummeting noise, mojo always makes that sound after I post.


[ Parent ]
indian wars (none / 0) (#96)
by anenhaienton on Wed Sep 18, 2002 at 09:29:59 AM EST

Do a search on burnt church or oka quebec. There are current indian wars, however they rarely get widespread attention. Would I be considered a terrorist, simply for standing up for myself?

[ Parent ]
That's Because (3.50 / 2) (#66)
by Maclir on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 01:29:33 PM EST

Terrorists are our emenies. When does a terrorist become a "freedom fighter"? When they are fighting for a cause we believe in and support. By definition, actions our forebears committed cannot be terrorism. Not too sure about those nasty Spanish conquistadors though . . .

[ Parent ]
Native Americans displaced in the concern stakes. (5.00 / 2) (#29)
by rodgerd on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 07:54:40 PM EST

One of the many downsides of slavery is that the fight against slavery, and for civil rights for Black Americans generally in the US, has largely displaced discussions around Native American rights. Black American delegations regularly try (and sometimes succeed) in gaining representation as an indigenous people at international conferences, and generally have a high profile in the US when it comes to reparations/civil rights an so forth.

This, incidentally, is why, eg some Maori in New Zealand get twitchy about immigration - there is a perception that Native Americans have lost out in the attention stakes to more recent immigration and the same could happen here, with Asian and non-Maori Polynesian immigrants pushing their concerns to the front.



[ Parent ]
Blacks displacing Indians (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by godix on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 11:32:55 PM EST

I think there's one key reason the history of slavery is more prominent than the history of Indians: Blacks never decided they'd sit on reservations and not make much of a fuss. I can't say I blame the Indians for quitely suffering, but in a time when black leaders think that getting government money is the cure to all ills it'd be nice to see a group that has been accepting government money for the last hundred years speak out about their conditions.


Don't mind the plummeting noise, mojo always makes that sound after I post.


[ Parent ]
America isn't trying to hide what was done... (3.20 / 5) (#37)
by thelizman on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 10:53:17 PM EST

Which is ironic...the Germans get a stiff upper lip when you bring up Auschwitz, many French literally gufaw when you mention Vishi, and the Japanese pretend they didn't hear you when you discuss Nanking. Any one of them will bring up Dresden, leftover bombs and landmines in their farmlands, and that little bomb we dropped on Hiroshima, then demand reparations of some kind.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Germany (4.00 / 2) (#40)
by godix on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 11:28:30 PM EST

It's always been my understanding that modern Germany does all it can to make sure it's past isn't forgotten or repeated. You're correct about France though and you vastly understate Japans reaction, there have been death threats in Japan over the issue of if Nanking should be taught in school. Of course, I've never been to any of these countries so I could easily be wrong.


Don't mind the plummeting noise, mojo always makes that sound after I post.


[ Parent ]
Dunno about that (1.00 / 1) (#63)
by thelizman on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 12:17:41 PM EST

It's always been my understanding that modern Germany does all it can to make sure it's past isn't forgotten or repeated.
Maybe it's just shame, maybe it's because I interface mostly with Berliners (who are peculiar as far as Germans go anyway).
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Leonard Peltier (5.00 / 4) (#11)
by czernobog on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 12:09:00 PM EST

Recent. Applicable. Debatable.

Ann Coulter (2.50 / 6) (#14)
by zephc on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 01:09:31 PM EST

Ann Coulter is a known troll and sensationalist.  She knows how to sell books, even if it gets lots of people hating her.  She could just as easily be extreme left-wing, and have frothing-at-the-mouth diatribes against the right wing. Ann Coulter should not be taken seriously as any kind of informed source. (I know that wasn't your intent, Im just saying.)

Right (2.30 / 10) (#16)
by ubu on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 01:16:50 PM EST

As another commentator pointed out, the Left has a sick and irrelevant fascination with Ann Coulter. It has a lot to do with the fact that Leftists think all the interesting people agree with them, y'know? And they think Ann Coulter is a hot blonde, so it gets them wrapped around the axle.

What they're missing in all of the above is that 1) Ann Coulter isn't hot, and 2) Nobody interesting agrees with them. But Leftism is a hermetically-sealed intellectual environment, so it doesn't really matter.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
What's the point of statements like these? (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by wji on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 03:17:29 PM EST

Why not just say we were all abused, or something? What's the point of making huge blanket statements that require evidence, and not presenting any? Why not just run around screaming "P = NP" or something?

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
-1, Abusing the word Troll (3.00 / 3) (#36)
by thelizman on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 10:50:42 PM EST

Ann Coulter is a known troll and sensationalist.
Yeah right...what did she do again? OH YEAH, she did documented research on the medias leftist bias, published a well written yet damning book. Don't you have anything other to do than to defend the establishment?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Coulter (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by zephc on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 04:06:52 AM EST

there's a good piece on her here: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/ac20010111.shtml

I'm sorry, but sensationalism and sweeping generalization and demonization are such amateur tricks as to be laughable.

Why do people always have to over-generalize? *grin*

[ Parent ]

Gawsh (5.00 / 2) (#59)
by /dev/niall on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 11:56:08 AM EST

Too bad she's a crazy bitch, eh?
--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]
I'd say (4.91 / 12) (#15)
by davidduncanscott on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 01:11:38 PM EST

that the analogy isn't often made because the situations were very different.

Modern terrorism is, in general, an attempt to exert pressure on large, powerful nations by small, less powerful groups, often by using the tools of the larger nation. (Those were, for instance, US planes that were flown into US buildings.) Terrorists typically hide in civilian populations and rely upon some level of decency on the part of the target nation (note that the US did not, for instance, use a nuclear weapon on Afghanistan) to lessen the retaliation.

The conflict between the Europeans and the Americans, on the other hand, was asymmetrical in a different way. The indigenous population was (at least initially) far larger, but the Europeans possessed the technology of firearms, ocean-going ships, and armor. I'm not quite sure if you're casting the natives as the terrorists, but certainly there was little hesitation on the part of the Europeans to slaughter indiscriminately in retaliation, and equally the Europeans are ill-cast in the role, since their opponents couldn't reply in kind, lacking the weapons and organizations.

Obviously "terror" was involved, in the sense of "fear", but when people speak of "terrorism" they don't simply mean the generation of fear. The Blitz was not terrorism in the sense that IRA bombings are, and Wounded Knee wasn't either.

"Terrorism" (4.75 / 4) (#21)
by wji on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 03:14:33 PM EST

It's simply not true that terrorism's a weapon of the weak. You're playing with the definition so that terrorism is ALWAYS the little group against the powerful, but when you look at it honestly terrorism is overwhelmingly a weapon used against defenceless people.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
All war (5.00 / 5) (#54)
by davidduncanscott on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 10:09:00 AM EST

is based on fear. No army in its right mind has ever figured on killing every last man -- the goal is to kill enough to frighten the rest into surrender or flight.

What went on here in the US was closer to attempted genocide. The goal was frequently not to frighten the native population, but rather to destroy it (and yes, I am aware of my reference to "in its right mind" above, and no, I'm not at all sure that those who created this policy were entirely sane). If Wounded Knee had been a terror operation, then half the Indians would have been forced to watch and then released to spread the word about what happened to the other half.

What distinguishes the current experience from the past is the explicit avoidance of military targets in favour of civilians. The US Cavalry didn't seem to mind slaughtering women and children, but they also fought battles and preferred to think of themselves as warriors. A modern terrorist, on the other hand, prefers to kill civilians and avoids battle whenever possible, not through cowardice but because it's hard to attain ten-to-one or 2,500-to-20 kill ratios against an armed enemy.

[ Parent ]

Pssst... (none / 0) (#91)
by jmzero on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 03:57:51 PM EST

wji may be too embarrassed to admit it, but his religion prevents him from making logical distinctions when talking about this kind of thing.  If you were polite, you'd just let the matter drop.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
Oh, hell, (none / 0) (#92)
by davidduncanscott on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 05:56:08 PM EST

I'm not terribly polite, but I'm nearly always willing to drop this sort of thing if it looks like it's going to degenerate into a bunch of "Is!" "Not!" exchanges. I kind of thought that "discussion" was the point around here, but then, who am I to argue with your lovely wife?

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#93)
by jmzero on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 06:04:27 PM EST

I was just joking - but I suppose I've wasted enough characters on wji that I suppose I needn't have been....
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
Right (4.50 / 2) (#74)
by zocky on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 06:47:51 PM EST

Terrorism, as opposed to military action, is not directed towards achieving a military advantage, but towards coercing enemy's public opinion into concessions.

It can be used by the strong, but then it's usually called collateral damage.

---
I mean, if coal can be converted to energy, then couldn't diamonds?
[ Parent ]

epidemics (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by anenhaienton on Wed Sep 18, 2002 at 09:22:04 AM EST

Small pox and other epidemics defeated us more than any European tactics or weapons.

[ Parent ]
There are many Indian reservations in the East (4.50 / 4) (#17)
by georgeha on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 01:18:47 PM EST

and the Indians are slowly beginning to make some money off their sovereign status, ie. casinos, tax free gas and cigarettes. New YOrk has quite a few reservations, mostly because the Iroquois confederacy was very well organized and politically potent at the time of the Indian wars, and was able to hold onto a small amount of land.

The other side of the coin... (4.68 / 19) (#23)
by dasunt on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 04:13:34 PM EST

To be fair, the Native Americans that I have seen don't know their own history.

There was a candidate (on of the minor third parties in the US) who was an Indian on TV the other day talking about how the Indians never destroyed their environment. I'm sure the guy had no clue about the wave of extinctions that took place at about the same time as the widespread colonization of the Americans by the Indians.

In my home state of Minnesota there would be Ojibway Indians who would talk about how the white man stole their land, never understanding that the land they were talking about was originally stolen from the Dakota Indians in a series of wars over possession of places where wild rice would grow.

After the colonizing Europians were done demonizing the Indians, the idea of the 'Noble Savage' arose. With the increase in environmental awareness over the past few decades, and the rise in popularity of flogging dead white males, all of a sudden the Indian was a Noble Man living in peace and harmony with his environment and other Indians until the white man came.

Due to the fact that most of us tend to pick up history through pop television shows, the misperception of Indian culture has spread.

There isn't one 'Indian Culture', no more then there was one old world culture. The Aztecs were sacrificing prisoners to blood thirsty gods, and engaging in cannibalism. The Iroquoi were noted for the respect they showed women. All over the new world, there were history of petty wars, and one group of people driving out another group of people. (This tends to be true for most parts of the world). There were different religions, different gods. Some tribes were peaceful, some warlike. Some tribes were rather fond of torture, others were not. Political structues ranged from small bands to empires.

If we want to believe some warped pop-culture view of the Indians, we are starting out with flawed thinking, and any conclusions that we have make will be tainted by that flaw.

Just my $.02



Well said. But... (4.00 / 1) (#58)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 11:49:42 AM EST

... the European invaders called themselves Christians.

The immense hipocrisy and immorality of what they did should be remembered as one of the worst examples of savagery in humanity's history.

As a side note, canibalism in the Aztec empire was not a way to get cheap protein, but rather ritualistic and religious in nature.

Nevertheless it got to so gruesome levels that emperor Moctezuma II abolished human sacrifices , just shortly before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.
---
"Every duck should aspire to be crispy and aromatic." sleepyhel

[ Parent ]

Shortly before? (none / 0) (#61)
by gibichung on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 12:12:28 PM EST

Didn't Cortez specifically mention having witnessed massive human sacrifices?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
I am not a scholar, but (4.50 / 2) (#73)
by dasunt on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 06:36:14 PM EST

My interest in Meso-American Indian history has lead me to do a little research in the area. It was one of the places in the new world that saw the independent domestication of plants. It was also one of the most densly populated areas in the world at the time.

The number of human sacrifices were chilling. 20,000 a year is a figure that seems to be quoted alot. Cortes said three thousand to for thousand, and the upper estimates seems to be 80,000. A portion of those sacrificed were prisoners of war.

The Aztecs had a tendency to change the number of sacrifices depending on external influences. In times of drought or famine, more people would be sacrificed.

A hotly debated theory is that cannibalism was a way of bringing a more protein to the diets of the Aztecs. Even with sacrifices at 80,000 a year, the amount of protein would have been insignificant if distributed to the population at whole. However, if restricted to those in power, the protein from cannibalism could have been significant in Tenochtitlan.

Like almost everything else in history, human sacrifice probably had a mixture of causes. The Aztecs were not self-sufficient - their population was simple too large for the valley of Mexico to support. They relied on tribute from conquered tribes. When the gods were angry, they wanted war and sacrifice. Neighboring tribes that peacefully accepted Aztec rule wouldn't be sacrificed. Tribes that resisted had part of their populations sacrificed.

In short, the bloody thirsty Aztec gods served them well. The human sacrifices gave them a bargaining advantage with neighboring tribes as well as rewarding the noble (warrior) caste. The Aztecs needed a religion that blessed conquest. Without tribute from the neighboring tribes, they would starve. Human sacrifice could terrify neighboring tribes into submission.



[ Parent ]
+1 (1.00 / 3) (#27)
by PullNoPunches on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 06:53:08 PM EST

For a chance to vote down another turmeric article.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)

"European American"? (4.85 / 7) (#28)
by QuickFox on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 07:43:28 PM EST

"Native American", "African American"... Are white people ever called "European Americans"?

Forgive me my ignorance of American English and the ever-changing language customs (I'm Swedish). I think I've often heard the term "African American" but never "European American". Seems assymetric.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fi

'european american' (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by guyjin on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 09:42:50 PM EST

I have heard 'european american', but the only people i've ever heard use it were white supremists.
-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
[ Parent ]
European-American (3.75 / 4) (#42)
by godix on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 11:41:02 PM EST

Native-America, African-American, or insertgroupnamehere-American are all terms used by politically correct American liberals. Those of use with enough sense not to mix up continents and countries just use bland terms like black, indian, or whatever. The only one I occasionally use is Native American, and that's only if I think there might be real doubt as to if I mean an Asian subcontinent or the people in North America before Europeans discovered it. The reason you'll never hear American liberals say European-American instead of white is that American liberals prefer the term 'white devils oppressors' since a they apperently hate white people.


Don't mind the plummeting noise, mojo always makes that sound after I post.


[ Parent ]
Almost (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by davidduncanscott on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 10:28:58 AM EST

There's a certain amount of "Irish-Americans" and "German-Americans" and such, rather than "European-Americans", probably because we somehow manage to view Africa as one big culture (dominated by Tarzan and She Who Must Be Obeyed).

[ Parent ]
She Who Must Be Obeyed? (none / 0) (#67)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 01:53:28 PM EST

What's the African context for "She Who Must Be Obeyed"? I've only seen it in the "Rumpole" books, but Rumpole was always big on quotes.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
H. Rider Haggard (none / 0) (#71)
by davidduncanscott on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 05:03:14 PM EST

or see "She", with Urusala Andress (whose name I probabably just mangled)

[ Parent ]
Cool. (none / 0) (#72)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 05:06:36 PM EST

One more literary reference comprehended.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
we have a term like that (none / 0) (#106)
by livus on Thu Sep 19, 2002 at 06:47:58 AM EST

We have a term like that in Aotearoa and it's very irritating - pakeha (white) New Zealanders were for a long time always called "European" - and still often are.

We get round it by calling the real Europeans "German Tourists" but really it's not a useful term.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Confusion of terms? (5.00 / 8) (#32)
by Anonymous 242 on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 09:46:49 PM EST

But, like the way British like to blame the Inquisition on the Spanish, it is hypocrisy.
The Inquisition was a movement by the Church of Rome to limit the prosecution of state governments of heretics by ensuring that people were indeed heretics prior to being excecuted by the state. Unfortunately, the measure to limit persecution soon devolved into a witch-hunt so to speak with inquisitors allowed to use torture in certain circumstances.

Regardless, the point being that the Inquisition was an invention of Rome. (As a footnote, the Inquisition is still around it just goes by a different name. The other big difference is that few nations any longer carry the death penalty for being a heretic.)

However, the Spanish Inquisition was only peripherally related to the Inquisition. It was an arm of the Spanish government.

Or perhaps is the sentence supposed to read "imperialism" where "inquisition" was used?

-l

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition pedant! (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by ethereal on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 01:40:34 PM EST

Sorry, but I really couldn't help myself there. Thanks for the historical background.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

I rather thought meant the war (none / 0) (#105)
by livus on Thu Sep 19, 2002 at 06:44:07 AM EST


This is a bit of a leap but I thought the author meant the interesting British take on the war with Spain at the time of the Spanish Inquisition. As it has always been spectacularly hypocritical and inaccurate.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
"Conquest" is not equal to "Terrori (3.80 / 5) (#33)
by khym on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 09:54:24 PM EST

Conquest, barbarity and cruelty aren't (necessarily) terrorism, unless you define "terrorism" to be "doing nasty things to civilians", in which case serial killers and those high-school students who snap and gun down their classmates would be terrorists as well.

--
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
history is now too (4.85 / 7) (#38)
by akb on Sun Sep 15, 2002 at 10:54:45 PM EST

A thing that gets me about commentary that acknowledges the barbarity and injustice that Native Americans have been subjected to (which is rare and welcome as this article is) is that it often consigns them to history. Over, done with, nothing more to see here, nothing more can be done.

But there is a present for Native Americans, they are in many ways still fighting. On many measures (literacy, life expectancy) the indigenous population to the richest country in the world ranks with the third world. Native wealth continues to be stolen to the tune of billions by willful mismanagement by the Interior Department, to the benefit of oil and mineral companies.

Winona Laduke's book All Our Relations is the best example I've seen of current real struggles that Native American activists are engaging in, it really opened my eyes to the history being now idea.

Of course there's also the effort to have the history books be rewritten to be more accurate to reflect the things mentioned in this article and more. Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is a good place to start. There's also always activism around Columbus Day (realvideo ).

Collaborative Video Blog demandmedia.net

mod down (1.00 / 2) (#46)
by dvchaos on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 12:49:19 AM EST

not more crap about 'terrorism'. mod down. sick and tired of this terrorism bullshit being rammed down my throught everywhere I go, so I don't need more.

--
RAR.to - anonymous proxy server!
The Indians used to trust the white men (4.42 / 7) (#48)
by GoStone on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 04:19:18 AM EST

now they have their reservations

-anon


Cut first, ask questions later

trust (5.00 / 4) (#50)
by gibichung on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 05:20:46 AM EST

The original Jamestown colony was intended to have its food supply supplimented by trading copper for grain with the natives. When the Indians realized this, they decided to stop trading... in the Autumn. Nine out of ten colonists died of starvation.

12 years later, the Powhatans planned an attempt to massacre the entire colony of Virginia on March 22, 1622 -- Good Friday. They showed up everywhere bearing foodstuffs for trade. The grateful colonists welcomed them into their homes... and were slain at their dinner tables. Jamestown itself was warned of the ruse and spared, but almost every man, woman, and child outside its walls was murdered, 350 in all.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

To clarify gibichung's point... (2.80 / 5) (#52)
by Demiurge on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 06:37:30 AM EST

neither side was blameless, and both committed atrocities. Ergo, it is supremely ironic for tumor-ic to claim that the US is whitewashing its role in Indian genocide but to fail to mention Indian warfare.

[ Parent ]
Indian warfare (3.66 / 3) (#53)
by danny on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 08:47:31 AM EST

Fails to mention Indian warfare? What was this?

Unsurprisingly, the Native Americans fought back. They proved themselves just as capable of fighting dirty as the Europeans, by invading towns, killing civilians, torturing them, and mutilating the dead.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

wild (3.66 / 3) (#55)
by fhotg on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 10:21:13 AM EST

For several reasons, accusing the US of historical terrorism is BS. This was, and some argue still is, ethnocide. The powerful better armed majority is never called 'terrorists'.

To save the topic, one could speculate wether Indians might become 'terrorists' in the public view. So far, there was little cooperation with white eco/leftist activists, but as desperation in certain areas grows, it might be possible that in the future reservations might be targeted as (eco) 'terrorist' hangouts.

good point (none / 0) (#104)
by livus on Thu Sep 19, 2002 at 06:38:07 AM EST

They'd probably fit the definition of "unlawful combattants" as well.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
The Difference (4.80 / 5) (#70)
by jayhawk88 on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 04:50:17 PM EST

See, back then, there was this concept of Manifest Destiny, the belief that our Nation was entitled to expand, conquer territory, and prosper, because we were God's favored nation of people.

Extremist groups like the Taliban also believe this, but their god is named Allah, and is not the God of Christianity, so obviously they are evil and insane.

Signed,
Jack Chick

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
Slow down here... (1.50 / 4) (#79)
by CharacterAssassin on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 12:23:45 AM EST

No one here is arguing the validity of the so-called "Manifest Destiny."

However, you seem to be engaging in (dangerous) moral relativism. Let's be clear here: the Taliban IS evil and insane. It does not matter how you look at it. The intentional, unprovoked murdering or 3,000 innocent American civilians is one of the most evil acts of the 21st Century. You are entitled to disagree; if you do, I urge you to either seek psychiatric care. George Will said it best:

Susceptibility to feelings of civic guilt and a tendency to social hypochondria are two generally healthy American attributes traceable to the republic's founding -- to living in the long shadow cast by the great men whose rhetoric and documents gave vitality to great principles. So last Sept. 11, there was an American reflex to ask, self-accusingly: "What did we do?"

The reflex was wrong. Our enemies attacked us not for what we have done but for what we are. And because of the attacks, we are even more intensely what we are, a nation defined by our unum, not our pluribus. The nation's great seal, proclaiming e pluribus unum, was adopted in 1782, five years before the Constitution was written and six years after the Declaration of Independence, with its declaration of equality of rights, made us, as Lincoln was to say at Gettysburg, a nation dedicated to a proposition.

The proposition, and all it entails, enrages, to the point of derangement, our enemies. So we fight.


Signed,
CA

[ Parent ]
Taliban didn't do it (3.25 / 4) (#82)
by drquick on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 03:01:24 AM EST

Oh, so now it's an established fact that the Taliban attacked on 9/11. I think that is stretching the truth a bit. The Taliban were probably serious about capturing bin Laden and submitting him to an Islamic court. Of course, GWB couldn't grab that chance.

[ Parent ]
Wow (4.75 / 4) (#85)
by lb008d on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 10:17:28 AM EST

Our enemies attacked us not for what we have done but for what we are.

People actually believe this kind of propaganda? Sorry to say it Mr. Will but the reason for the attack is a lot more complex than that.

[ Parent ]

I have not forgotten the Native Americans (1.50 / 8) (#75)
by Jesus Christ on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 08:31:57 PM EST

After Jerusalem, I came to the Americas (of course we didn't call them that back then) and brought the good news to the people here and I made a covenant with them.  The covenant still stands and they will be a great nation once again.
Your elder brother,
JC

Hey, JC... (none / 0) (#84)
by superdiva on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 09:37:49 AM EST

You did better trolling with the Pharisees.
_____________________________________________
[ Parent ]
What did you call it? (none / 0) (#89)
by ethereal on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 02:00:25 PM EST

Seriously? New Phoenicia, maybe? It was too early for it to be called West Greenland at that point.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Also absent from historical analysis of terrorism. (3.00 / 3) (#78)
by Apuleius on Mon Sep 16, 2002 at 10:36:05 PM EST

The Pelloponesian War and the practice therein of enslaving captives. The March of the Ten Thousand and the 10,000's habit of robbing people of food during the march from Babylon to Trapezont. Alexander's massacre of Greek turncoats en route to what is now Afghanistan. The Sicarii. Hassan al Sabbah, the Old Man of the Mountain. The Vikings. The Magyars. Indeed, historical analysis of terrorism seems mighty narrowly focused...


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Terrorism is a misnomer (4.25 / 4) (#80)
by arcith on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 01:02:38 AM EST

People have killed, plundered, raped, etc. since the beginning of human history. Talking about some "terrorist" action of the 1500's is pretty pointless. The Boston Tea party would be considered terrorism by our modern definition. It's ridiculous. Now, I am part native american, so I think what has happened to them is of course , an atrocity. But what civilization that has existed has not committed atrocities? None, unfortuneatly. Except maybe Luxemburg. heh. Now, that is to say I'm not a vocal critic of US foreign policy. In fact, the CIA could easily be considered a terrorist orgnization.@ arc

Nobody got hurt at the Boston Tea Party, did they? (none / 0) (#88)
by ethereal on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 01:43:22 PM EST

It was more like vandalism or willful destruction of property than anything.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Well, then, the solution is clear (3.33 / 3) (#81)
by RyoCokey on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 02:06:43 AM EST

Judging from your analogy, since the terrorists are funded by Arabs and were in many cases Arab themselves, we should invade the middle east, kill all of it's people, and take the land. Then our terrorist troubles will be over with.

Wow, that sounds an awful lot like Imperialism. I never knew turmeric was such a fan of the likes of Kipling and Theodore Roosevelt.



"...the average American finds it hard to accept all the hand-wringing over America's behavior we're hearing in Europe's two dozen languages given that
no, it is not (none / 0) (#94)
by sesh on Wed Sep 18, 2002 at 03:42:26 AM EST

Firstly, he was arguing against the 'logic' you employ, stating that that is exactly the problem with US involvment in current middle-eastern conflicts.

Secondly, the US and ally Pakistan has historically played no small part in training and funding [1] (over $6 billion in 'foreign aid') todays Afghanistani terrorists in the 70s and early 80s (i believe this is fairly common knowledge)

also, i think that when the article says: they do not want to search further for other solutions. It is much easier to justify racism and miliatrism than it is to search for alternatives... he was suggesting that perhaps a peaceful alternative may be found.

and yes... it does sound an awful lot like imperialism. im glad you noticed.

[1] there are better articles out there... this was the first hit returned by google.

[ Parent ]

There's no arguing with the results (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by RyoCokey on Thu Sep 19, 2002 at 01:11:09 AM EST

From turmeric:

They sought refuge from their pain in racism, cultural superiority, and militarism. Eventually, the problem was "solved", because the European-US population managed to kill or 'remove' the vast majority of non-Europeans to either the afterlife or to reservations in the central US or in Canada.

When's the last time there was an indian raid on the US town? Turmeric's main problem is he chose a really bad example.



"Your analysis is flawed, your assessment is unsubstantiated and illogical. But hey, I voted +1 anyway." - Thelizman (K5 moderation in action)
[ Parent ]
but (none / 0) (#103)
by livus on Thu Sep 19, 2002 at 06:36:03 AM EST

It kind of sounds as though you missed the point, which wasnt to invade anyone. You're mistaking a cultural imperative for logic, but it's not the same thing.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
No guilt here (none / 0) (#83)
by DingBat1 on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 09:24:40 AM EST


I don't feel the least bit guilty over the history of the Native Americans. Wasn't there. Didn't have anything to do with it. Why should I feel guilt?

And even if I were to accept even a miniscule amount of responsibility for the events of 200 years ago, my seven year old son is totally innocent. The guilt trip stops here.

Hell, I'm a fifth generation Canadian. I AM a Native American now.

So, if you want to talk about the plight of a people RIGHT NOW, I'll listen. But I have no time for lame attempts to make me feel guilty for events that occured before I was born.

Nice try, though.
/bruce

I don't feel guilty either (1.66 / 3) (#86)
by faustus on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 01:32:09 PM EST

My grandpa was in the German SS and was in charge of Auchswitch-Birkenau where millions of Jews were murdered just because of their ethnicity and religion. I don't feel any guilt. People try to make me feel guilty, but I say "the guilt trip stops here".

So what if the Nazi's made U-Boat socks out of their hair, or pulled all the gold fillings out of their teeth, I for one will not feel guilty one bit, that would be absured.

Naturally, if we want to talk about people RIGHT NOW, I'll listen. Historical facts are FOR WANKERS, designed soley to encite guilt out of the present population.

My son will not be allowed to read anything about the past which must suggest that my social group is guilty for anything. That way he will grow up happy and guilt free.

[ Parent ]

Uh huh (none / 0) (#90)
by DingBat1 on Tue Sep 17, 2002 at 02:32:37 PM EST


I guess you're making fun of my position. Cool. But I wonder where the desire to make a "group" bear the burden of past sins comes from.

I always thought that was one of the strengths of North America: we avoided the tribalism of Europe/Africa in which past wrongs are not only remembered, they're set in stone.

Btw, historical facts are just that: facts. The correlation between events 200 years past and those we face today are something that is rarely shown by people such as the original poster.

Good one with the Nazis, though. When all else fails, that's always a good standby.

[ Parent ]

History (none / 0) (#101)
by bobm on Wed Sep 18, 2002 at 11:49:00 PM EST

DingBat1 said: Btw, historical facts are just that: facts. The correlation between events 200 years past and those we face today are something that is rarely shown by people such as the original poster. I say: You are forgetting the little phrase 'the winners write the history'. (or something like that). Heck before the net there were few sources of alternate information. I like to think that we're doing better than the past and I know that I didn't have anything to do with bad guys and I'm sure a lot of people from that time were also innocent.

[ Parent ]
Point? (none / 0) (#107)
by DingBat1 on Thu Sep 19, 2002 at 08:55:04 AM EST


Uh, I'm not sure how confident I would be in the "net" as a source of alternate information. Actually, alternate is probably a good word. Correct is another story altogether.

But the point is that history is merely "factoids". It's neither right, wrong, left, right, or colored. It just is.

How you use history is up to you. You can learn from it and try to avoid earlier mistakes (not an easy thing to do, obviously). Or, as the original poster tries to do, you can use some of our darker moments to try to "shame" people into supporting your point of view. To me this is intellectually lazy: if your argument is good you should be able to support it without the cheap emotional theatrics.


[ Parent ]

Come on, really? (none / 0) (#108)
by Meatbomb on Tue Sep 24, 2002 at 11:45:33 AM EST

Or are you just using it for effect? If your grampa was director of Auschwitz, let's have his name, your name, a few bioggraphical details?

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]
This changes when someone makes a claim. (3.00 / 2) (#97)
by ghjm on Wed Sep 18, 2002 at 11:43:31 AM EST

You don't feel guilt, anger or anything else, because nobody is making any claims against you.

This is one example of a very common situation. Suppose someone steals my TV from my house. I then sell it to a fence, who sells it to a respectable merchant, who sells it to you. You now think you own the TV - you have no reason to know it was stolen. But I have the original receipt from Radio Shack showing the serial numbers and date of purchase, and a police report listing the TV as stolen property.

What happens if this situation is uncovered? Both parties have a claim on the TV: they both paid for it. The most widely recognized way of solving this problem is: the prior claim wins. I get back my TV, and you get nothing. You are pissed off because you paid for a TV and you don't have either a TV, or your money back.

One key concept here is that you didn't actually steal a TV. Nobody is accusing you of that. It doesn't matter how many hands the TV passes through, it was still stolen from my house and I still own it. You can be a completely innocent party, but the appropriate solution is nevertheless to give the TV back to the original owner.

So the question is, just how much time has to elapse before prior claims are invalidated?

The fact is that if you live in the U.S. or Canada, you are almost certainly living on land that once belonged to a Native American tribe. The plot of land on which your house is built has passed down to you through a long chain of ownership, but that chain probably began when the original tribe was massacred, forcibly relocated, or otherwise forced to cede ownership.

So it doesn't matter if you feel guilty or not. What matters is whether a legitimate title claim can be brought against your property.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

The indians (4.00 / 1) (#98)
by BLU ICE on Wed Sep 18, 2002 at 12:54:37 PM EST

Fought eachother over land. So in order to return the land to it's proper owner, we will have to find what tribes first possessed the land over 15,000 years ago, when the indians first immigrated to america. Say, if I just gave my land back to the Yakamas, that would wrong the Chinooks, who had the land before.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Greatest lottery ever held. (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by DingBat1 on Wed Sep 18, 2002 at 01:01:31 PM EST


If you can prove you're the closest living descendent of Lucy, you win EVERYTHING. :)

[ Parent ]
Not losing any sleep either... (2.00 / 1) (#99)
by DingBat1 on Wed Sep 18, 2002 at 12:59:00 PM EST


"So it doesn't matter if you feel guilty or not. What matters is whether a legitimate title claim can be brought against your property."

Uh huh. I'm sure the French are staying up late worrying about some descendent of a Visigoth or Vandal making a claim on Paris.

A great injustice was done 200 years ago. So let's spread the injustice around by billing people who happen to be around now in order to apply an unnecessary salve to a collective conscience.

Legality is irrelevant in this case. If the government decides to settle then eventually a bill will show up at my door and I'll probably pay. Maybe in 200 years my descendents can sue for emotional distress and get the money back.

[ Parent ]

Terrorism (5.00 / 2) (#109)
by OldCoder on Wed Sep 25, 2002 at 01:24:34 AM EST

There aren't many useful definitions of Terrorism. The best I've come up with is "Acts of War committed by NGOs". That is, by "Non-Governmental Organizations."

This definition is useful especially in that it is somewhat objective and also that it reminds us that what is going on is just irregular war.

The current unpleasantness between the Palestinians and the Israelis, for example, is just a very irregular kind of war. The Palestinians see it as a war of liberation and the Israelis as a war of annhilation. The girls who are suicide bombers in Tel Aviv are, in my opinion, soldiers of an unusual kind, but soldiers. The Israeli response is, of course, military. The Israeli conquest of the West Bank in 1967 was of course, part of a War between governments, not NGOs. Since people don't usually call that Terrorism I've decided that Terrorism is an act of war by an NGO.

Mostly, the word Terrorism just confuses people into not realizing that it's a form of warfare. Sometimes, people use the word as a synonym for "evil". Well, war isn't exactly "Goodness", although almost all of us believe in "Just War" of one kind or another (not the same Just Wars, of course).

Modern warfare often includes substantial targetting of civilians. Consider, for example, World War II. Since then, The Great Powers have mostly tried to limit themselves to military targets or at least, to avoid the civilian megadeaths that are just so embarassing. (Apparently, Public Opinion actually influences the course of war. This anomaly requires further study.)

Terrorist acts are usually smallish Acts of War against either civilian or military targets. The US Military barracks in Beirut and in Saudi Arabia, and the attack on the USS Cole, are examples of military targets. The World Trade Center was an example of a civilian target, not small, though.

It's just warfare. It isn't mechanized war, nuclear war, trench warfare, conventional war or even guerrilla war. Perhaps it should be called "Slow War". Slow War may, of course, involve the use of these other kinds of war. Air war, for example, was used in New York, also Kamikazi pilots. But Slow War is a separate kind of war, and properly deserves its own doctrine.

Terrorism is War.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2004 OldCoder

Native American History Absent From Historical Analysis of Terrorism | 109 comments (77 topical, 32 editorial, 0 hidden)
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