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Rebuttal of the Day: Justifying Genocide?

October 10, 2009
peterpan28dh5
I think John Kaniecki makes some good, fair points (despite obviously being a bit ticked off) in his rebuttal to Cas Balicki’s highlighted comment from October 8 about the history between European colonists and the Native American inhabitants:
2009 October 10
John Kaniecki permalink

David,

Hi hope you are well.

So you justify genocide by saying the European invaders had superior technology?

It is easy to die of disease when one is given blankets soaked in small pox.

Your conclusion shows you are heartless and lack the basic things that makes humanity prescious. Things such as trust and honor which the native Americans showed to the Europeans. Examine all the treaties made and how many did the pale invaders keep? Not a single one. Do you justify lying as well? Does lack of morals make one superior as well?

I pray that God will touch your heart with a little Love and compassion.

And the worst of it all the pale man came and did their evil in the name of Jesus. People would like to think America is god’s nation. If it is god’s nation it is not the God of the Bible.

If you have any desire to understand the reality of what happened here I suggest you begin with a book called “I Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Snyder.

I will get down on my knees and pray for you and all your fascist friends.

Love,

John

What does everyone else think? Cas? Do you have a reply for John?

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38 Comments
  1. rodgers permalink
    October 10, 2009 5:57 pm

    If you look back in history, there are plenty of examples of wars between people of all colors and nationalities for land, over women, whatever. To state a fact doesn’t justify something, but does help us understand. I believe the Indian tribes were not exactly living the imagined peaceful either and fought for land as well among each other. Certainly, the Indian tribes were more than happy to fight other tribes as mercenaries. The Europeans also understood trust and honor – nothing new there. Treaties have always been broken and will always be broken. Trying to pretend away human nature into some idealistic state of being, particularly by suggesting the Indians were above it all, is somewhere between weird and naive.

  2. October 10, 2009 7:10 pm

    Holier than thou AND pointless. Not to mention historically dishonest. But I think I will read Dee Snyder’s book. I liked his work with Twisted Sister.

  3. Cas Balicki permalink
    October 10, 2009 7:20 pm

    Some estimates range up to 75% of the native population killed by disease in North America, which by any standard would qualify this as genocide but for one fact: most of the dying was done after contact and before first settlement by Europeans. The problem with contact is that the Europeans were not sophisticated enough to know that contact was dangerous and, therefore, must be held blameless. At the time no one knew about bacteria and viruses.

    Why contact and not settlement is important is that contact spread the diseases that killed the native populations. Blankets had nothing to do with anything. I’m not an expert in infectious diseases and might stand correction, but small pox is a virus. The critical aspect of a virus when compared to a bacterium is that a virus is less hardy in air than a bacterium. Why this is important is that both viruses and bacteria spread by means of droplets, vanishingly few if any of these organisms spread through air and air alone, they must first be coughed or sneezed up as tiny drops of sputum. The problem with the infected blanket myth is that even short exposure of both bacteria and viruses to the air kills these organisms very quickly; we’re talking seconds and minutes as opposed to hours or days. In the case of an infectious disease such as small pox (a virus) there would have to be real time transmission from the infected to the healthy for the virus to survive transmission, this is only possible through contact and puts the lie to this blanket silliness.

    Being the cold heartless bastard that I am, I can make no comment on broken treaties and sharp practice other than to say that such practice should not go unpunished. Otherwise I stand by my previous comments, and add only that the standards of that age are not the standards by which we live today.

  4. ElanaSe permalink
    October 10, 2009 7:35 pm

    Fascists?
    There are too many sides to this debate and it will take way too much of the space to count them all.
    But it’s frustrating when people pull the dramatic tone straight ahead, without rereading the comment. There is no justification for the “genocide” or lack of morality in Cas’s article, it was written from the historical perspective, may be using dry scientific language, but nowhere have I seen any such justification. You can disagree with the reasoning (and maybe explain why beyong the “pox blanket” comment), but don’t call people fascists because they didn’t mention the world pain, love or passion in their analysis.

  5. FelixPrismus permalink
    October 10, 2009 7:36 pm

    fascists hahahahaha that’s not stale at all

  6. PeterK permalink
    October 10, 2009 8:01 pm

    “It is easy to die of disease when one is given blankets soaked in small pox.”

    I stopped reading when I came to the above canard. It has been debunked numerous times

  7. Jenn permalink
    October 10, 2009 9:36 pm

    I bet my scalp that John is a weepy emotional superior moralist liberal.

  8. October 10, 2009 11:59 pm

    Do politicians saying one thing on the campaign trail to get votes and doing another when they get into office constitute “breaking a treaty”?

    Does ignoring or “reinterpreting” the constitution to force people to move off their land with some small “restitution” to increase tax revenue constitute “breaking a treaty”?

  9. macko permalink
    October 11, 2009 12:36 am

    This may or may not apply but if you remember the french indian wars, the american revolution, and other conflicts the locals sided with the enemies of the US. It’s a bitch when your side loses.

  10. LibertarianHomo permalink
    October 11, 2009 1:26 am

    If we’re looking at mis-directions of the Indian-War era, that King Andrew (aka Andrew Jackson) was a man of the people is a good starting point. From his policies, he sure didn’t like native Americans much, either 🙂

    • October 11, 2009 8:12 pm

      Andrew Jackson did not hate Indians. He fought them, as they did each other, because they were enemies. He actually adopted an Indian baby boy as his own son,

  11. DAWOOD permalink
    October 11, 2009 1:28 am

    we have a serious problem here in our school whereby most of the pupils , approximately 1500 learners , are taught that there was no holocaust and its a myth. our teachers teach us that what the holocaust is is what the jews are doing to the innocent palestinian people . that is what the holocaust means. is this correct . we are confused

  12. calthrope permalink
    October 11, 2009 3:55 am

    Somethings were wrong, no excuse,also consider,the Mongolian invasion of Europe……who were Mongolians?

  13. October 11, 2009 4:03 am

    I heard the same thing Peter K did. That smallpox blanket stuff is not really true.

    Michael Medved exposed it in one of his articles.

    Where the disease took place was in South America — not North America. The Spaniards had diseases that killed the Indians there. The Spaniards did not know how diseases were transmitted and for a longtime the europeans suffered from diseases and those that survived developed immunity which the indians did not have.

  14. Lighthorseman permalink
    October 11, 2009 4:31 am

    Sorry folks but John is correct in his mind, based on his liberal education, spoon feed in our American education system. He doesn’t know any better because he has never applied critical thinking to his view of life, history or morals. He’s running with myths and hides behind his supposed heartfelt religious superiority, using it to diss those of us with facts and some historical common sense. It’s like running with sharp knives, very stupid and dangerous.

    • Anneke9 permalink
      October 11, 2009 11:24 am

      He is a good boy who listened with willing, wide eyes to the authority figures in his life: liberal teachers. He swallowed, unquestioningly, every word they spoke. He wants to be righteous and good and noble. Righteous, not right. If he has read an opposing point of view, he has only done so with the intent to knock it down like a straw man. For example, I notice that he does not mention the atrocities that the native people in the Americas committed against the Europeans. He does not mention the wars between tribes and the violence the native Americans visited upon their own brothers. John is much more interested in living in his mental Fairyland, where the innocent little lambs wear white (purity) and the villians wear black (pure evil). Get real.

  15. October 11, 2009 5:27 am

    yep, small pox blankets were a myth. See Medved’s 10 Lies about America. Some army dude wrote a letter to another army dude raising the idea. Otherwise, no hard evidence has ever been found.

    Same with No Irish Need Apply signs, btw. This prof looked everywhere and has never found one:

    http://tigger.uic.edu/~rjensen/no-irish.htm

    • Donnamarie permalink
      October 11, 2009 6:36 am

      I read the same book and have heard the same thing. Small pox blankets are supposedly a myth. I was surprised to hear it having heard for years that it was the golden truth. If John Kaniecki can show me where the proof is about the small pox blanket, I would welcome it. So far everyone I have asked about it cannot show me any proof.

      I do think that overall the way the Natives were treated by the U.S. Government was horrible. The treatment of the Cherokees by Andrew Jackson makes me want to cry. They followed all “white man” laws. However, it was a different time. Would Andrew Jackson ever be able to get away with that these days? Never!!!!! I think that it is very difficult to really judge a civilization/society living in times past with the same moral standards that we have today.

      As for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee-definitely, horrible. However, by all accounts of this incident the Sioux fired at the soldiers first-by one account “at least fifty shots”. Was it overkill?-yes, no doubt-but the incident has been investigated and researched over and over again and every conclusion came to-the Sioux fired first and the soldiers returned fire.

      Finally, a couple of summers ago we took that RV trip through the Navajo Nation. My conclusion was that the government gave the Natives the most desolate, bleak territories in the United States. Wild the country is scenic there is not a whole lot you can do with the land so there is not way for the Navajos to make money. I commented to my husband that it did not surprise me that there was a high incidence of alcoholism among the Native Americans because if I had to live there I would drink myself into oblivion.

      John Kaniecki, I will pose the same question to you that I asked some friends of mine a few years ago when we were having the same conversation. Instead of wringing your hands and talking about how bad the U.S. government is, what can we do now to fix this? Should we give them back all the land? If so, how would we do that? Do you believe we should give them reparations? If so, how much? You have to remember, if you can give reparations you can only restore them to where they would be had the Europeans never came here? Where would they be? Living in teepees, using spears to kill buffalo? Would they have indoor plumbing-or even outhouses? You sniped about technology but isn’t that how all societies have advanced? Talk about being disingenuous-heck, you are sitting at your computer blogging away about how nasty the U.S. government was back in the 1800’s.
      It is sad and I have no answer for this debate but I do know that morally and intellectually we have advanced to the point that we have tried to rectify many of our government’s past sins. Are we perfect? No, but we try.

  16. Donnamarie permalink
    October 11, 2009 6:40 am

    Please forgive my typos. I was trying to edit but inadvertently hit the submit button.

  17. October 11, 2009 8:21 am

    i suppose the smallpox thing is bull.probably made up like the quantas holiday(check the foward in somthing of value). but i’m very impressed with the native american wisdom.for instance was there ever a truer saying then “white man spreaks with forked tongue”?

  18. Sam permalink
    October 11, 2009 11:05 am

    It seems the CDC disagrees about transmitting smallpox through blankets:
    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/overview/disease-facts.asp

    As for the rest, here is a thought, impossible as it may be for the ideologues to accept:
    Both are right.

    The conquest of the Americas by Europeans was inevitable by virtue of technology and social order.
    The conquest of the Americas by Europeans was tainted by acts that we can only judge as depraved and evil today, including, but not limited to, broken treaties, biological and ecological warfare, rape, torture, deliberate destruction of families, deliberate suppression of culture and religion, and just plain general racially motivated genocide.

    The one does not negate or invalidate the other.
    Indeed, given the rate at which certain Native Americans adopted European technology, it is absolutely certain they would have inevitably established hegemony over the continent in the absence of European dominance.
    Equally, claiming different standards at the time in no way absolves anyone from the atrocities committed. You may as well be . . . no you ARE BEING, the Turks blaming the Ottoman’s for the Armenian Genocide, then condemning anyone who mentions it happened for insulting “Turkishness”.

  19. Cas Balicki permalink
    October 11, 2009 12:01 pm

    From the CDC Web Site:

    Transmission

    “Generally, direct and fairly prolonged face-to-face contact is required to spread smallpox from one person to another. Smallpox also can be spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids or contaminated objects such as bedding or clothing. Rarely, smallpox has been spread by virus carried in the air in enclosed settings such as buildings, buses, and trains. Humans are the only natural hosts of variola. Smallpox is not known to be transmitted by insects or animals.

    “A person with smallpox is sometimes contagious with onset of fever (prodrome phase), but the person becomes most contagious with the onset of rash. At this stage the infected person is usually very sick and not able to move around in the community. The infected person is contagious until the last smallpox scab falls off.”

    Note that there is no attempt to define the length of time over which bed linen and clothing is contagious, but if you read quite precisely the definition of the term over which the person is contagious. Bed linen can only be contaminated because it is infected with a living smallpox virus. So the next question is: Over what period of time is that living smallpox virus actually alive and virulent? The CDC report on the disease is silent in this matter. Conceivably, it would have taken some time to transfer blankets from a settler’s sick bed to a tepee through a very hostile–to a virus that is–environment. Any bets that such a virus could successfully make that trip? Perhaps the CDC could address these questions, but I suspect they have tons of real research to do and would be loath to devote any time to myths.

  20. WAKE UP permalink
    October 11, 2009 12:39 pm

    This argument is only ever supported by the myth of the “noble savage” who, to put it plainly, was seldom noble, and often savage – just like EVERY OTHER human being. Whenever cultures clash, the one whose basic human nature (as above) is amplified and extended by its technology, will “win”. Ipso facto, the Native American would have “won” had his outreach been superior i.e he would have behaved EXACTLY like the colonists did.

    Missing in all this discussion is acknowledgement of the benefits that also arrive with the superior culture. Classic examples are: written language, technology such as railways and flight, and even democracy; all of which were, themselves, hard-earned by their possessors through innovation, sacrifice, insurrection and war. It’s the way it IS.

  21. Cas Balicki permalink
    October 11, 2009 12:39 pm

    “Equally, claiming different standards at the time in no way absolves anyone from the atrocities committed. You may as well be . . . no you ARE BEING, the Turks blaming the Ottoman’s for the Armenian Genocide, then [sic] condemning anyone who mentions it happened for insulting “Turkishness”.”

    This passage assumes an enlightenment that was not at the time prevalent. To judge the past based on present knowledge and standards is nothing less than an historical tyranny that depreciates the courageous battles fought to end long established practice and opinion. As an aside imagine how silly some of our science will look one hundred years from now. Does anyone reading this feel themselves stupid or uninformed? Does anyone reading this not feel themselves as well informed as their circumstances and society allow? Yet in one hundred years we are all going to look stupid by comparison.

    Two hundred years ago doctors were bleeding patients. By today’s standards they were following the wrong course, does that make them murderers? In the early 1800s typhoid and cholera were major concerns within urban populations. Oddly enough it wasn’t medicine that saved us from these curses; it was engineering. When we finally learned that black-water or, as it is sometimes called, night-water had to be separated from potable water millions of lives were saved. Again, this raises the question: Were the engineers that were unaware of this now simple fact, incompetent murderers?

    To dismiss the social forces extant at a historical time from a remove is to take on a unacceptable level of moral snobbery while at the same time dismissing our own predilections to curry social favour. The sad facts of the twentieth century should convince any doubters that social mechanisms are resisted at great peril and often times to the extreme prejudice of the individual. Is this right? Of course, not! But it is no different than trying to pass off historic snobbery as erudition in order to curry favour. Make no mistake, none of us, not one of us in a thousand, is smarter than we ought to be given the resources available to us. And yes in one hundred years we will all look very stupid indeed. Anyone want to discuss global warming now?

    • Sam permalink
      October 12, 2009 5:01 pm

      “This passage assumes an enlightenment that was not at the time prevalent.”

      No, it assumes one possess both a sense of morality, and the will to employ it.
      You express the standard of moral relativism, where nothing can be judged because of differences in culture, with morality irrelevant, and the only standard being success, along with an arrogance that dismisses all sins as those of someone else while claiming a moral purity.
      Simply, nonsense.
      Simply, as I said, that is the the Turks, trying to blame the Ottomans for the Armenian Genocide while declaring offense at anyone who even mentions it.
      At that rate you not merely can, but are dismissing any possibility of judgement of any act, leaving everything immune to condemnation. With such a standard, how then can any moral evolution occur? If anything is excusable, and no one is ever to be held accountable by history, what means cannot be justified by some theoretical ends?
      In fact, when people learn they have made a mistake, whether it be of simple mechanics, advanced science, or complex morality, most are willing to accept that they did, in fact, make a mistake, accept correction, and move forward having learned from the lesson.
      Without some form of judgement, however far removed, we can learn no lessons from the past. That is a poor basis for a social order, particularly by the standards we have today.

      “Note that there is no attempt to define the length of time over which bed linen and clothing is contagious, but if you read quite precisely the definition of the term over which the person is contagious. Bed linen can only be contaminated because it is infected with a living smallpox virus. So the next question is: Over what period of time is that living smallpox virus actually alive and virulent?”

      Are you an expert on the topic or not?
      That is the entry from the CDC. Obviously they find the virus lives long enough in bedding and such to be contagious.
      Why should anyone take your agenda drive layman’s musings over their description?

      • Cas Balicki permalink
        October 12, 2009 7:57 pm

        Morality is not something that is open to debate in that it is usually fixed in both the individual and society. I trust you have heard of social norms. That individuals may be and often are at variance with their societies and their norms is also, I trust, not in question. It should also be granted that social pressures can form or alter an individual’s mores. Slavery was once an accepted and universal practice. By today’s standards it is not right. But given the severely constrained economic circumstances our ancestors lived under, work for food and shelter alone, or indentured service, or even slavery would take on an entirely different social status. Does that make slavery, indentured service, or serfdom right by today’s standards? Of course not! But slavery’s historic origins in the presence of almost universal deprivation may make it almost inevitable as a least-worst alternative to starvation and death. Certainly slavery by the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was past its best before date, but by this time emancipation movements were being formed and the institution that was slavery was under an attack that it thankfully did not survive. Let me say in closing this paragraph to those reading that this is not a defence of slavery; it is merely an attempt to put it into an historical perspective. If you are moved to attacking me as a defender of slavery, please reread the preceding sentence over and over until the feeling passes.

        As for the CDC, I repeat, nowhere in the cited article does it comment on the life cycle of the smallpox virus in an inhospitable environment. The reason viruses and bacteria find homes in our bodies is that our bodies are hospitable to them in the sense that they keep them toasty warm, moist, and comfy until such time as our immune systems can build a strong enough army of T-cells (I think?) to defeat the buggers. Viruses and bacteria outside the body are not hardy organisms and lose virulence quickly. I am suggesting that this loss of potency occurs in seconds or minutes depending on the virus or bacterium’s out of body experience. If you, Sam, have another more reliable answer, please, follow up with the facts, which the CDC did not provide. This is not to say that the CDC is incompetent. I only write that the CDC has not provided answers after stating that transmission was the result of prolonged face-to-face contact. This then raises the question of how the virus contaminating linen is supposed to transit from said linen into the uninfected person. Last I heard people don’t chow down on their bed linen, which doesn’t mean that transmission is impossible, but it certainly makes it unlikely or improbable as compared against the odds of infection by prolonged face-to-face exposure, which strongly suggest an oral nasal transmission vector.

        • Sam permalink
          October 12, 2009 10:41 pm

          Morality is something that is constantly open to debate. If it is not, then there is no basis for condemning the extremes of, for example, Sharia. It would be interesting to see this blog sacrifice criticism of that on your altar of cultural relativism.

          Of course, you do not really make that necessary with your attempted defense of slavery. Really, trying to justify slavery now? And on the basis of history? It is almost impossible to know where to start correcting your errors.
          The economic conditions of the early colonies did not in fact require slavery, or indentured servitude, in order to survive, and indeed it was only when they abandoned collective living with forced labor that the first English colonies managed to survive at all.
          It was not in fact a default cultural practice, or even particularly common in Europe at the time it was embraced on such a massive scale in the colonies when it became economically viable.
          That also casually obscures the very real, very significant shift from the future states practicing nothing but indentured servitude, a reasonable economic practice to gain new colonists, to practicing racially based slavery.
          That does not even address your blithe dismissal of the forcible enslavement of free men, their transport another continent, and their enslavement, solely to try and save others. Perhaps, and a very extreme perhaps, if the slaves were exclusively prisoners taken in war first hand that might have some historical validity. But in that form, and even by that time, it had none.
          You claim that is not a defense, merely an attempt to put it in historical perspective, but your history is absurdly wrong. In the face of such obfuscation, it difficult to credit your claim to standing on the side of history.

          As for the CDC, either you are a trained virologist and know more than they do or you are not, and you are simply refusing to surrender your ideology in the face of opposing facts.
          Do you know how long the scabs, which can contain live infectious material, remain so when in bedding or not?
          It is obvious the answer is no.
          That means your claim that smallpox cannot be spread by blankets is wrong, meaning your claim that it was never so spread, or attempted to be spread by such means, questionable at best, spurious most likely, and very easily revisionist denial.
          Terrible those facts getting in your way, “and yet it moves”.

  22. MikeD permalink
    October 11, 2009 3:29 pm

    When we study the early history of mankind as printed in the Bible, we read that many of the Kings during the Old Testament Days were Blessed with success UNTIL they became “too big for their own britches” and God sent another King to teach them a lesson of obediance. One of my college professors in the city of the ‘Birth of the Republican Party’ in a Social Studies Class explained the problem. In discussing the ideals of ‘Marxism’, he told of his birth in China of missionary parents and living there as a young man. A Christian “Marxism” lifestyle (which is what Obama is preaching) would be ideal, BUT with human nature as it is, the end result is what we have in all the communist dictatorships in the world. Humans desire what someone else has and most are not willing to work for it, so they believe power is the answer. Greed and Power have proved to be the problem faced in the world today. Some fifteen or so years ago, the famous and honest Billy Graham told about the more than 100 wars going on in the world at that time and more than 90% of them involved Muslim ideologists and that situation seems to be continuing today. Wars and rumors of wars are always with us. MikeD

  23. Chris Williams permalink
    October 11, 2009 5:38 pm

    What happened in the Americas was very simple and predictable. In Europe, Asia and Africa millions upon millions died in catastrophic plagues. These plagues swept across the continents in waves, sometimes decimating two thirds of the population. Thus, those from Asia, Africa and Europe who set foot in the Americas were the progeny of the survivors of devastating plagues. What then killed the Native Americans had already killed Europeans, Asians and Africans. The survivors of those plagues, now heavily immunized, brought the diseases with them. These diseases then did the same thing to the Native Americans that they had already done to all other populations. These diseases do not differentiate. They nail everybody.

    Therefore, we cannot say that a disease decimated village in the 1500’s in the Yucatan has a higher moral value than a similarly decimated village in Europe, Asia or Africa 200 to 400 years earlier. They are all tragedies of nature.

  24. John Kaniecki permalink
    October 11, 2009 5:55 pm

    Greetings All,

    Let us put things in context.

    “There’s no doubt that when it comes to our treatment of Native Americans as well as other persons of color in this country, we’ve got some very sad and difficult things to account for…”
    Let us put a stop to this myth right now. ”

    The first objection is that the article denies ‘very sad and difficult things’. The majority of the people say there were misdeeds on both sides. Let us for the sake of argument say that both sides have done equal amounts of evil. Then both sides would have numerous sad and difficult things to account for. So the basic premise is a lie.

    The remainder of the article states that the European victory was through cultural and tehcnological superiority. I will certainly disagree with cultural superiority. The native Americans were superior in culture. In their society the passage to adulthood came with the promise that nobody in their group would ever be alone or go hungry.

    The technological superiority is one that I would agree with. Surely it was not American bravery or superior tactics that one the conflict but more numerous numbers of soldiers and superior weapons. Throw in of course multiple lies and and broken promises, promises that were never meant to be kept by the invaders.

    And then the article concludes, “But, then competition is a dirty word to socialists, isn’t it?”

    And here is where the anger is raised. Comeptition? The genocide of nations of people dismissed as winning a contest. Like it was some grand football game or something?

    Do not forget, these are the same people who initially showed mercy on the settlers and helped them survive. In return they were repaid kindness with evil. Things did not have to happen the way they did. The native Americans were willing to share and work with the settlers. They made concession after concession. Yet what is the outcome today. Whole tribes destroyed, their memory only in names of places. Still the oppression continues as the United States perpetuates evil on the natives. Trying to destroy their tribal unity, trying to make them into the pale man.

    When man is degraded into a statistic. Or when a tragedy of enormous proportions is dismissed as competition that is far across the line. It dehumanizes humanity. Just as Hitler reduced the Eastern Europeans to less than human or the United States in Vietnam tried to portray the ‘commies’ as less than human it is wrong.

    We are all human beings, unique and prescious in the sight of God. Why do you glory in such a tragedy and reduce the horror to competition? Do we aplaud the school yard bully because he is so tough?

    Finally the situation was not an even one for one. History is complex. Sadly many native Americans fought against one another to even past scores. But while we can argue how it happened there is no doubt of it’s outcome. We have only to look outside our windows and see what the European man has done.

    There will come a time when the wisdom of the native Americans will have their turn. We are in too many ‘competitions’ in this world. Man has killed man to satisfy his lustful greed. It has been happening since the begining of time and will continue until the Lord Jesus shall return. While you can say that the fit or superior will survive or be victorious I cannot agree with that conclusion. The invention of nuclear weapons has made war unwinnable. There will be no winners in the next war.

    So we need to find another way. That way is Love as exemplified by Jesus. The Bible teaches us to Love both our neighbour and enemy. Yet there is a truth and that truth must be taught. It is not a competition, it is not a game. The slaughter of men, woman and children is wrong regardless of whether is happened at Wounded Knee, at the World Trade Centers or in some village in Vietnam or Afghanastan.

    Love,

    John

    • Cas Balicki permalink
      October 11, 2009 7:34 pm

      Nowhere in the original blog post or in subsequent posts do I write about “cultural superiority”, my comments are and remain restricted to technology as an aspect of culture. Either you have not read the post, John, or you are being mendacious.

      “Surely it was not American bravery or superior tactics that one [sic] the conflict but more numerous numbers of soldiers and superior weapons. Throw in of course multiple lies and and [sic] broken promises, promises that were never meant to be kept by the invaders.”

      Initially the native North Americans far outnumbered the settlers to this continent, so in the early years of settlement the numbers favoured the indigenous population. What then proved the difference was technology (guns) and military tactics, which can be described both as a cultural and a technological aspect of a civilization. A culture, such as the European culture, had over centuries gained an appreciation of not only war but, more precisely, siege war. Hence when Europeans built settlements they incorporated defensive preparedness into those settlements. This is both a cultural (hope for the best expect the worst) aspect of European civilization and a technological (clear sight lines out, obstructed sight lines in) aspect. As for bravery, Europeans have nothing to prove on this score for crossing the unforgiving North Atlantic in ships that today would not run the length and beam of a good yacht is proof enough of bravery. As for broken promises, let us stick to the issue at hand, you know, those raised by me in the original blog.

      “ “And then the article concludes, “But, then competition is a dirty word to socialists, isn’t it?”

      “And here is where the anger is raised. Comeptition? The genocide of nations of people dismissed as winning a contest. Like it was some grand football game or something?”

      You are at best being subjective and at worst disingenuous above. The reality is that any who do not see the life and death war that was fought on this continent as a competition between two cultures do not have a proper appreciation of either war or culture. What happened in North America was no game, and to call it a competition doesn’t in any way make it one, the word only serves to focus the reader’s attention on the factions competing. What happened here was a brutal Darwinian competition for survival, and this is a fact, I think, beyond question.

      “They made concession after concession.”

      Your romanticism, evidenced above, is clouding your historic vision. Especially in light of your comment that, “The majority of the people say there were misdeeds on both sides.” Yet, I suspect that your use of the word majority is aimed at communicating that you aim to fix yourself firmly within the minority that does not allocate equal blame. Both sides were either equally to blame or they were not. As for you, John, either nail your flag to a position without equivocation or stop trying to convince us that you are fairly looking at both sides of this argument for your choice of words indicate anything but fair-mindedness. If anything your words are those of an equivocator, and they do you and your position no credit.

      “Yet what is the outcome today. Whole tribes destroyed, their memory only in names of places. Still the oppression continues as the United States perpetuates evil on the natives. Trying to destroy their tribal unity, trying to make them into the pale man.”

      What tribes were destroyed, and under what circumstances? Were their battles fought? What were the battles fought over? Who attacked whom? Who initiated what? As for the oppression that continues, what oppression and who presides over that oppression? Today’s American natives enjoy the good grace to live in the world’s wealthiest country. Ask yourself, John, how many of them would go back to being hunter-gatherers if they had the option. I suspect that very few would, as they would have to give up their pickup trucks and indoor bathrooms. Do you not see that the people who invented the tomahawk did so because the likely had a use for the invention? Do you not see that inter-tribal warfare was likely a daily occurrence among tribal cultures looking to steal everything from food and hides to wives and children? This is what tribal cultures do, if for no other reason than to mix blood lines.

      “When man is degraded into a statistic. Or when a tragedy of enormous proportions is dismissed as competition that is far across the line. It dehumanizes humanity. Just as Hitler reduced the Eastern Europeans to less than human or the United States in Vietnam tried to portray the ‘commies’ as less than human it is wrong.”

      The above is simply silly, and I will not dignify it with an answer except to say that you have proven to all reading this blog that you are a superior human being, and we, Neanderthals all, look to you with love radiating from our black hearts. John, comeback again when you have something more than moral preening to offer.

      • ElanaSe permalink
        October 12, 2009 10:02 am

        Well said, Cas!

    • October 11, 2009 9:38 pm

      Well, JK, this entry certainly isn’t the most ignorant blog post I’ve read all week–but it’s close.

      “The native Americans were superior in culture.”

      By whose gauge? Yours? Even by today’s United Nations standards I don’t think your assertion holds a drop of water. What history literature to you read? Classic Comics?

      The fate of the indigenous people of the Americas is in many ways a sad tragedy. But don’t hang that rap on me.

  25. October 11, 2009 8:16 pm

    American Indians benefitted from the conquest of North America by the English and Dutch and their American descendants. They have peace – no longer are there the wars between different tribes. See Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.

    The Indians who greeted the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock got the help of the Pilgrims against other Indian tribes.

  26. John Kaniecki permalink
    October 12, 2009 5:04 am

    Cas,

    Hi hope you are well.

    Your response is portrays what you are.

    Love,

    John

  27. Cas Balicki permalink
    October 12, 2009 7:56 am

    As yours portrays who you are.

  28. John Kaniecki permalink
    October 13, 2009 6:01 pm

    Cas,

    Hi hope you are well.

    Let me warn you of the dangers of hell fire and bid you a farewell. A farewell but not a goodbye. The struggle is not over and time will tell who is right.

    It is my prayer that you will join us one day. We are a very open and forgiving group, accepting all.

    But let me at least say I appreciate your honesty in your allegience to Darwinism. By your own theory you are simply no more than a very intelligent animal. But I know you are a human being created in the image of God. And by that alone you are worthy of Love and respect.

    Love,

    John

  29. John Kaniecki permalink
    October 14, 2009 9:08 am

    Donnamarie,

    Hi hope you are well.

    Forgive my delay in answering your comments as there were many and my time is limited.

    Firstly the oppression of the Native Americans goes on to this day. The attempt to change tribal ownership to individual ownership is a major factor. The abuse of mining companies and oil companies taking resources from tribal lands without compensation is another. The interference of Native American life on their ‘rervations’. There is the Bureau of Indians Affairs,when it is not needed. Not honoring treaties, such as fishing rights and so forth. If you are interest there is a book called “The Spirit of Crazy Horse” which tells of why there was a shoot out at Wounded Knee and what caused it.

    There is a myth that sorrounds every nation. In reading the works of Josephus the author contradicts what the Bible says to make Isreal sound better. Today I was reading the newspaper and the grand son of Joesph Stalin is suing a Russian newspaper for defamation as it portrayed the Russian leader in a bad light. I believe the myth of nations exist for every nation in existance and probably ever substantial organization. History is subject to prejudice. Even if one was one hundred percent objective there is only a limited amount one can write. In the scarce space available one must explain what has occurred. Judgements have to be made. For example in American history more time is spent on what George Washington did milatarily and as first president. This is without doubt of primary importance. But why do we spend time on the story of George “chopping down a cherry tree and not lying about it” rather than the fact that he was a slave owner and engaged in hostile wars with the Native Americans to take their land?

    So, as in every country there is a myth. The myth is made of half truth, exclusions and lies. Again in America is was recently revealed that the attack of the ship in the Gulf of Tonkin that ingnited the Vietnam war never occurred. Why do we remember the Main and not the Liberty?

    This myth is a dangerous thing where ever it exists as people base their actions on knowledge. If the knowledge is faulty then the conclusions will be as well. Look at Isreal and Palestine. Both people lay claim to the land based on contradicting histories.

    I know of no perfect people other than Jesus. Likewise since United States is made of not perfect people the government, or any government cannot be perfect. But when you portray the United States in such a saintly description as it is, history is distorted. There is a direct correlation to what happened to the indiginous people in the United States to what our country is doing today.

    Unlike others who have personal knowledge of me I grew up in high school with very conservative teachers. From youth I was taught the infallability of America as always being righteous and that is a lie. In fact the opposite is true.

    A person argued that the United States is the greatest country as it is the wealthiest. Well the United States has more people in jail than any other country, including Mainland China which has over three times our population. So what standard do you use to judge greatness? It all tends to your point of view. Both facts are true but one’s conclusions would differ.

    Finally to answer your question. Yes I believe we should give back the United States to the Native Americans.

    Love,

    John

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