April 19th, 2004 §
the bush regime never fails to provide us with fresh surprises. after much ballyhoo concerning largely american mercenaries, bush and co. are looking to create foreign legions of darkies to do their dirty work for them.
those bush advisors were evidently deadly serious about the benefits of outsourcing after all.
perhaps after consultation with sharon last week, bush has decided that the only army in the world – IDF apart – worth having would be rwandan.
billmon’s quote from heart of darkness was right on.
It was very simple, and at the end of that moving appeal to every altruistic sentiment it blazed at you, luminous and terrifying, like a flash of lightning in a serene sky: ‘Exterminate all the brutes!’
the problem that these latter day romans in the white house are facing is that in the post-colonial world, there are scant few enough people to want to go to war for whitie or even to let him into the country.
slavery, colonialism, world wars have taken their toll. people don’t want to travel to foreign shores to persecute other miserables. there are problems and joys enough at home. in any case, the long term rates the americans will have to pay these foreign legions for their dirty work make them a losing proposition.
for now though they are cheap at the price – $660 million for five years worth, a tiny fraction of the billions the US is paying to keep american regulars and private military contractors in Iraq.
somewhat enheartening is that if republican americans do succeed in creating and arming these foreign legions, they will have trained and armed and equipped a fighting force as likely one day to throw their own legions out of africa and asia as to support pax americana.
look at the success the americans have had with the iraqis.
and if the americans do succeed in creating and deploying hutu legions, i cannot imagine their european allies smiling on the project. even the germans and japanese will have to rearm seriously at that point.
the republican americans will probably have more luck with the robot soldiers that they are preparing for the next decades of the project of the new american century.
what a great incentive for peace…war with no body bags.
and brigades of overweight american teenagers to man the battle stations by remote. life and death and war just one great LAN party.
the benefits and convenience of modern technology.
on the other hand, i wonder how happy the republican hutu legions will be to give up their commissions at that point.
it’s not as if there aren’t other things to spend R&D money on: global warming, fossil fuels replacement, new clean chemical processes, ocean water desalination programs to name just a few which might have bright commercial prospects. americans could clean up their exhorbitant lifestyle and pay off their enormous national debt flogging these technological marvels to the world.
no better to spend a fortune pillaging the homelands of others to pay for a way of life soon to go the way of the dodo, wars won or wars lost. in any case, the accumulation of an unrivalled capital in hate is certain to go on paying dividends for decades.
April 19th, 2004 §
billmon is back. if you haven’t tried his site, you must. his website the whiskey bar is a regular digest of geopolitics mixed with literature.
the bar keep, billmon almost daily manages to astonish an intelligent and articulate readership with choice morsels from antiquity, philosophy and literature.
the bar’s popularity has made the comments section an enormous undertaking. which is a pity as a good deal of the commentary is on a par with billmon’s own writing.
for some reason, LFGers and other uncouth rabble from the right make very rare appearances here. i don’t know if it’s because billmon bans them, they don’t understand the commentary and can’t answer or they have tired of being rebuffed by a clientele who brook ill stupidity.
addictive and dangerous. as long as the whiskey bar stays open, free speech still exists and there is hope for a better world.
the carpetbagger’s report is a less refined dining experience but the copious portions of washington corruption are served with goodwill. no comments here – it’s more like a newspaper than a website. but if you are interested in american political news, this is the place to visit at least twice a week.
i’ve cited Baghdad Burning twice this week. her blog on events in iraq opens the curtain on what the western media would prefer you not see. not to be missed, although in wartime there are frequent interruptions.
April 18th, 2004 §
today for the first time i am obliged to clean up comments. as an advocate of free speech, i don’t want to censor comments. but there isn’t any choice, with a crowd like the LGFers.
it’s as if you had a party and one of the guests started to throw liquor on the other guests or scream uncontrollably. or wildly start groping somebody else’s girlfriend.
uncoy.com is a place for civilized debate and conversation. no screaming or throwing liquor allowed. your opinions are welcome. histrionics and violence are not.
with the LGFers it goes farther. charles johnson has assembled one of the most unruly and unpleasant mobs since nero.
it may be a virtual mob – thank heavens we do not need to smell, taste or see your horde – but is no less a mob.
charles johnson for some reason prefers to call his mob, lizards rather than trolls. the distinction is lost on me:
Call on the LGF Clue Phone™ for Mr. Yglesias: lizards are not trolls, and trolls are not lizards….Thanks to all lizardoid minions (and regular folks too) who expressed support for me and LGF. You guys are a very smart bunch, and you should be proud of the way you acquitted yourselves, there and in the recent altercation at Winds of Change.
it seems this is an organised band determined to subvert open debate and throught their clamour and violence. vandalism (?). in short, brownshirt tactics.
i understand that these are serious charges, but charles johnson has been guiding and shaping these assaults on the mild-mannered and sincere matthew yglesias, who is a guy who even has the courage to admit his own mistakes.
yglesias’s characterization of charles is spot on.
The true genius of LGF, however, can only be discovered by browing through the pre-9/11 bits of the archives — mild-mannered tech blogger suddenly driven mad by terrorist attack. A tragedy for the internet age.
i even remember visiting the LGF weblog in distant times for information on web design on a mac.
neil at tacitus has documented another three cases of brownshirt tactics on the part of charles johnson and his mob.
those who encourage brownshirts should not forget the fate of ernst roehm.
justice, civility, equality before the law, due process. all have been easily disposed of in the last few years.
whatever values of democracy charles purports to attach himself to have long since been subverted by the patriot acts one and two, guatanomo bay, flouting of the geneva convetion, WMD and the unilateral invasion of a sovereign nation. to mention just a few things in passing.
what do these people want? clean your own house first.
gradually the lizard reference begins to make sense.
there are now not one but two weblogs devoted entirely to the invective and misdeeds of LGF, as the LGF quiz blog puts it:
Let me suggest the following: If you’ve got at least two websites, apparently owned by different people, whose expressed purpose is to watch your every move and report on alleged racism, bigotry, and/or prejudice on your blog, you’ve got a public relations problem. A serious public relations problem.
it’s not just the left. as well as tacitus, others on the same side of the political street as charles johnson are equally disgusted with the LGF brownshirts.
April 18th, 2004 §
matthew yglesias came to a similar conclusion about kerry’s current policy pronouncements as i had in an earlier post. things probably aren’t as bad as they sometimes seem.
rhetoric isn’t totally unimportant since a candidate’s words on the campaign trail can narrow his options somewhat once in office, but they certainly don’t merit more attention than his record and that of his key policy advisors.
the centrists and the left who are shocked by some of kerry’s current positions should take heart. in modern times (current administration as the prime example), politicians no longer are obligated to their election campaigns.
let’s just hope that:
- bush continues to lose voters as his major policies both domestic and foreign continue to be shown up as bankrupt as he is quickly making america
- there is no major terrorist attack which will provide a pretext for the bush campaign to indefinitely postpone the election
- the diebold machines are kept out of the election, making it a fair fight
- kerry can make it to the polls alive
those who don’t want to vote or campaign for kerry should remember: it can’t get any worse. the reigning nepotism and loss of influence taking place is as bad as it gets. the current administration is setting historical precedents.
April 18th, 2004 §
let me say something loud and clear. an american life is not worth more than any other life.
a bomb dropped on any other city is no less harmful than a bomb dropped on new york.
am amputee american iraq veteran is no less crippled than the iraqi child victim.
a bereaved iraqi mother is no more consolable than the bereaved american mother of a deceased soldier.
bombs are real. they kill and maim.
this is not a video game
The people in Falloojeh have been trying to get the women and children out of the town for the last 48 hours but all the roads out of the city are closed by the Americans and refugees are being shot at and bombed on a regular basis… we’re watching the television and crying. The hospital is overflowing with victims… those who have lost arms and legs… those who have lost loved ones. There isn’t enough medicine or bandages… what are the Americans doing?! This is collective punishment … is this the solution to the chaos we’re living in? Is this the ‘hearts and minds’ part of the campaign?
The American and European news stations don’t show the dying Iraqis… they don’t show the women and children bandaged and bleeding- the mother looking for some sign of her son in the middle of a puddle of blood and dismembered arms and legs… they don’t show you the hospitals overflowing with the dead and dying because they don’t want to hurt American feelings… but people *should* see it. You should see the price of your war and occupation- it’s unfair that the Americans are fighting a war thousands of kilometers from home. They get their dead in neat, tidy caskets draped with a flag and we have to gather and scrape our dead off of the floors and hope the American shrapnel and bullets left enough to make a definite identification….
and no way to earn either hearts or respect
Al-Jazeera had their reporter literally embedded in the middle of the chaos- and I don’t mean the lame embedded western journalists type of thing they had going at the beginning of the war (you know- embedded in the Green Zone and embedded in Kuwait, etc.). Ahmed Mansur, I believe his name was, was actually standing there, in the middle of the bombing, shouting to be heard over the F-16s and helicopters blasting away at houses and buildings. It brought back the days of ‘shock and awe’…
I know it bothers the CPA terribly to have the corpses of dead Iraqis shown on television. …To lessen the feelings of anti-Americanism, might I make a few suggestions? Stop the collective punishment. When Mark Kimmett stutters through a press conference babbling about “precision weapons” and “military targets” in Falloojeh, who is he kidding? Falloojeh is a small city made up of low, simple houses, little shops and mosques. Is he implying that the 600 civilians who died during the bombing and the thousands injured and maimed were all “insurgents”? Are houses, shops and mosques now military targets?
are you proud of yourselves yet, LGFers and other assorted armchair quarterbacks?
April 16th, 2004 §
I have a feeling that the article sharon’s eastern front | next exile of the jews | Q & A will have me tarred as an antisemite. This is not a fair charge. I have many Jewish friends and colleagues. I both have employed Jews and have been employed by Jews. Frankly, until today I was somewhat concerned with expressing my concerns as I had seen how lightly the ADL or the Canadian Jewish Congress bandy the label of anti-Semite.
At this point those bastards can call me whatever they want, I will not stand by and applaud the persecution and gradual genocide and Palestinians and other Middle Eastern peoples, anymore than I would have stood by to applaud the genocidal persecution of the Third Reich against the Jewish, Slavic and Romany peoples during the Second Great War of this century.
I was quiet until today in the hope that eventually the madness would subside and saner heads would prevail, both in Israel and in the United States. Before it is too late, we must all spring into action and especially the secular Jews of North America. This is our last stand before a war which will last forever and destroy many.
And I am just one. But I think a representative one.
There is a rascally method at work. All Jews are one. A strike against a single Jew is a strike at all Jewry. On the other hand, if the Jewish state commits great crimes, this is niether the affair of nor the responsibility of individual Jews. Take for example Stephen Spielberg and his Schindler’s List – a great Jewish filmmaker honoured by the state of Israel. On the other hand Spielberg bears no responsibility for any of Israel’s actions nor is Israel responsible for their own actions, thanks partly to sympathetic works such as Schindler’s Lists.
The same tendency to elude civic responsibility has taken root in the american soul. hey man, i’m just somebody who doesn’t believe in politics. it’s not my fault bush is an asshole. hey man, i didn’t vote for bush [translation: i didn’t vote at all].
There are saner Jewish voices who understand the peril Bush and Sharon run when pitting people against people and army against people. The Neturei Karta are a group of anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews who have been driven from Israel themselves by the Israeli government and do not support the current occupation of Palestine and remember recent history. They issued the following statement:
- The State of “Israel” does not represent the voice of Judaism and/or the Jewish people. The Torah clearly forbids the formation of a State, for the Jewish people, in their time of exile.
- The Torah forbids stealing land, subjugating and oppressing a people etc.
The root cause of the endless bloodshed and suffering in the Holy Land is Zionism and the State of “Israel”.
- sThe root cause for the continual rise of worldwide anti-Semitism is Zionism and the State of “Israel”.
- The Jewish people have been living in Muslim countries, including Palestine, in peace and harmony with their Arab neighbors, until the advent of Zionism.
- True to the above and for many other reasons, the rabbinic authorities universally, have vehemently opposed the State of “Israel” since the time of its inception.
There is another group Righteous Jews who are asking hard questions.
In March 2002 a Tel Aviv University poll found that 46 percent of Israeli Jews support the transfer of 3.5 million Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and 31 percent say the same for 1.3 million Palestinians citizens living in Israel. Such Jews, from both the right and the left, want to finish the job they started in 1948. Who will stop this ethnic cleansing? Who will stop the daily killing of Palestinians, the destruction of their homes, the apartheid wall, and all the other “security measures” taken to achieve the Zionist goal of “pumping out” most of the Palestinians?
But asking the odd question is not enough at this point.
It is time that the Jews of North America woke up to the ill that their Israeli cousins are creating and about to worsen – and themselves cut off the funding and policies which are about to bring this catastrophe down on all and especially their heads.
Sadly, any Jew who objects to any Israeli actions is immediately tarred with another trite epithet, “self-hating Jew”.
Men and women of good faith we must join together, regardless of denomination or creed, and together put a stop to this conflagration.
And quite frankly that epithet of anti-Semitism doesn’t mean much at this point. The currency has been debased.
In fact one might say I am writing now as I care for my Jewish friends and cousins and don’t want them to stand by in a time for action, as the Germans stood by during the Nazi ascension in the 1930’s. And then it was too late. The blood was on their hands.
I am sure most Jewish people, don’t want such things to happen to either Palestinians or Iraqis any more than most Germans wanted to put German Jews into cattle cars and imprison and kill them.
The responsibility is particularly heavy on North American Jews, who have enabled and sometimes encouraged this extreme and absurd situation to develop.
Now is the time to stand up and be counted.
April 16th, 2004 §
Like most people I was astonished by President Bush’s acceptance of the absurd and cruel Sharon roadmap for permanent destruction of the Palestinian nation this week.
How could such a thing happen? And why this week? Didn’t the Americans have enough trouble in Iraq without adding fuel to the fire?
Ariel Sharon is a wily fellow. He saw his moment – for which he had planning and acting vigorously throughout at least the last year.
Last year about this time Rachel Corrie, an American girl in the International Solidarity Movement (“a Palestinian-led grassroots organization that facilitates the participation of international volunteers in non-violent direct action resistance to the Israeli occupation”) was killed by the IDF. Foreign observers, specifically the ISM were a major obstacle to IDF’s steady incursions and brutal attacks/reprisals against the Palestinians. They were a growing force and could assure international media coverage (heroic ISM youth versus brutal IDF) as well as provide extensive documentation both photographic and video of these same assaults.
Murdering Rachel Corrie served several purposes – it was a test to see how large the reaction to an American death would be. Happily for Sharon, while the initial media outcry was large, it quickly faded. Particularly after the IDF managed to effectively spread falsehoods and doubt about Rachel’s death to the effect that it was an accident. This is simply not true, as both eyewitness accounts – there are about four of them – and photographs illustrate.
The second and even more sinister purpose served by the murder of an ISM volunteer was to discourage expansion of the program. After these event what parent would allow his or her university age progeny to depart to Israel for three months to help the Palestinians. As Rachel’s death was successfully labelled an accident – some ISM continued to come.
Unsurprisingly there were two more attacks on ISM members in the next two months in April. Both Tom Hurndall (English) and Bryan Avery (American) were shot in the head. Accidentally, of course. But a clear message was sent to both peace movements and journalists. If you interfere with Israeli actions in Palestine, even as an observer, you are likely to pay for it with your life. Even Americans.
Propitiously, all of these murderous attacks took place while the world and more especially the Americans were watching the theatrics in Iraq. Co-incidental?
After these accidents and still under cover of the hostilities in Iraq, Israel accelerated the building of the wall between Israel and Palestine along ever more aggressively and arbitrary lines, cutting Palestinian farmers off from agricultural lands and penning their cities.
But still why get official endorsement from the United States now?
Sharon wants his deal while Bush is in the White House. The Israelis are justifiably worried that they may not see their backer re-elected in six months. While John Kerry faces the same menaces at home from the Jewish political interest groups as any other American politician, never has Israel had such a pliant President in the White House so surrounded by Likud hawks from the Project for a New American Century (link to PNAC Watch – don’t neglect to visit the original for to observe such peace inspirational tracts first hand. With Kerry, Israel – as yet – has no guarantees.
Why does Sharon think he can get away with it?
Together with the British, the Americans are already the perpetrators of the greatest genocide in history. The elimination of the American Indians as a significant social group is not in sheer number of individuals killed the largest attack on a people(s), but in terms of duration, severity and numbers of individual nations eliminated it far exceeds any other. There were over 1,470 official incidents of US Army action against American Indians between 1776 and 1907. The population of indigenous peoples in North America in 1492 is estimated at 5 million or more. By 1800 there were only 600,00 and by 1900 less than 250,000 living.
This is a liquidation of 95% of the population. Hundreds of tribes or peoples just disappeared into the ether. To be able to legitimise the shame of Israeli democracy – Palestinians are not allowed to vote within their own state – and to take the remaining Palestinian territory, this is the kind of decimation that Sharon must aspire to. Probably throughout the Middle East and not just in Israel.
Curiously the American poliltical rhetoric of the time concerning the Indians mirrors Sharon’s own about the Palestinians:
I believe in the [Indian] policy that exterminates the Indians, drives them outside the boundaries of civilization, because you cannot civilize them – Congressman James M. Cavanaugh 1868
The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian…. Reckless, revengeful, fiendishly cruel, they rob and murder, not the cowboys, who can take care of themselves, but the defenseless, lone settlers on the plains. Future President Teddy Roosevelt, January 1886
Policy towards the Indian was even more brutal than that of Israel’s towards the Palestinians. In 1850’s California, the settlers were allowed to make Indians server as indenture servants for a period of 15 years. The government fenced them onto reservations, gave their grazing fields to the settlers, leaving them without food. When the hungry Indians raided settler’s herds for food, reprisal raids were organised by the local cattle supervisor said “no man who would not kill all the Indians he encountered should go.”
That same year, 1859, California Governor John B. Weller granted state commissions to companies of volunteers that excelled in killing Indians. Weller commissioned these volunteers in lieu of federal troops since the troops were reported to be on friendly terms with the Yuki. Upon completion of their mission to kill the Indians regardless of age or sex, Governor Weller sent his congratulations to the volunteers for doing “all that was anticipated,” and his “sincere thanks for the manner in which it [the campaign] was conducted”
Sharon has certainly picked the right partner for genocide. Curiously enough, the only other un-coerced party in the present coalition of the willing now in the Middle East is Britain, who prosecuted similarly successful genocidal policies north of the 49th parallel.
The only good Indian is a dead Indian. No Palestinians, no problem.
How can Sharon fail to see that the end game of this conflagration can only be the loss of Israel as well?
How could Hitler fail to see that war on two fronts would destroy his army? How could Napoleon fail to see that he would lose his army in Russia? So did Bush and Sharon fail to see they would lose Israel in Iraq and an unjust settlement in Palestine. Some dogs are just vicious. They bite all in sight. Wise owners muzzle them.
Fortunately for themselves the peoples of the Middle East have a far greater experience of Europeans and Jews than the unfortunate Indians did. They will not stop defending themselves and their way of life until the last American leaves their country. They will not be so easily or lightly vanquished. The Iraqis had learnt from the first Gulf War not to line up in tanks and APC’s for slaughter by airforce and rocket. They dispersed and hid the weapons, waiting to see what the future would bring.
When it became apparent that they could only expect the rape and pillage of their country, they turned against the occupiers and will not turn back again. They are men of courage defending themselves with machine guns and rifles against F16’s and tanks. The American soldiers are misplaced time servers in a foreign land which does not want them. In their frustration and fear, they are perpetrating atrocities. Short of nuclear genocide the Americans and their Israeli allies cannot hope to prevail.
But to return to Sharon, why now with the Palestinians?
Sharon’s own stranglehold on power is gravely threatened now. His family is being investigated for corruption in a sorry saga of real estate scams. It is clear that Sharon’s son did take payoffs to try to influence political policy. How the sons they influenced policy not yet been proven, but one expects it would be via the father. The policies in question did change in favour of those who paid the bribes. Obtaining America’s approval on the permanent apartheid plan is a major political coup for Sharon right now.
While this may be a very wily tactic for Sharon, it is very bad for Jews everywhere.
Sharon’s background in the army is that of a thug and a murderer – Sharon is not a statesman, but the descendent of Cain, a man who through his actions and his statements dishonours the memory of Jews, living and dead.
The Jewish people do not mourn more than four million (I believe that is the current accepted historical figure) of their own people perished in death camps to see the head of their state and self-proclaimed head of their people practice effective genocide on another people. Stefan Zweig did not write his books to be the bedside reading of Israeli lagerkommandanten, the last living agents of apartheid after the fall of South Africa. Arnold Schoenberg did not write his symphonies to be the soundtrack for armageddon.
The problem with Sharon’s apartheid ideas is that he has clearly shown to the international community that one set of rules applies to Jews (and American Jews and by proxy supportive Americans) and another set of rules applies to everyone else.
And by putting these racist ideas into practice – the ideas themselves have been around for a long time – Sharon has awoken the bugbear of anti-Semitism which thankfully had been slumbering in America and abroad since the end of the Second World War.
What can be done to avoid an outpouring of anti-Semitism?
- American and Canadian Jews must denounce Sharon immediately and to repudiate his plan for the Palestinians.
- The American congress should suspend all support of the Israel defense structure as long as those weapons are being used to kill America and other international observers and to raze Palestinian homes.
- The current sitting President of the United States withdraw his ill-thought support for the apartheid and inhuman Sharon plan for the destruction of the Palestinian people.
- Americans must press for a fair settlement of the Palestine issue
If not and the brutal persecution and fencing of the Palestinians continues, Sharon will have opened the floodgates to the greatest torrent of antisemitism the world has known since the Spanish inquisition. The Jewish people will be welcome nowhere except Israel and they will lose Israel altogether sometime in the next fifty years.
Alarmism? No, Israel is already being widely paralleled to South Africa, the other pariah state of the second half of this century.
Americans will soon also be unwelcome in most other lands. This suits the Israel lobby – if we may identify that lobby with the Project for a New American Century. They are striving to create a situation where all Americans must live like Israelis: in fear for the strike of the next suicide bomber. The greater the identification, the better for Israel.
For now there is still a chance to reverse this process. Americans you do not have to be reviled the world over. Solve the Palestinian problem fairly (1967 borders, self-government) and withdraw gracefully from Iraq and your nation will again be celebrated in many places, your people protected in their travels, your businesses welcomed.
In the contrary occurence, all over the world – except in the United States – Sharon is creating a plethitude of difficulties for both Jews and their hosts nations. In the recent times of religious tolerance, Jews throughout the world, thanks to hard work and study, have obtained excellent post both government and commerce.
This has not been and should not be an issue.
But under the current situation, as long as international Jews support what happens in Israel, the tolerance will come to an end. In genocide, there is no neutral position as the Swiss found out.
Governments and employers can and will demand of their Jewish employees or representatives if they support the apartheid policies in Israel. And many will still wonder – to whom do their employees’ loyalties stand greater, their own state or company or to Israel.
What can the unfortunate Jew answer? He or she will of course say that his/her loyalties are with his or her current state or employer. And often he or she will be telling the truth. But often or at least sometimes not. And how can one establish the turth?
Logically the quandary is thus posed:
- the state policies of Israel are totally unacceptable to civilised man
- it is our duty as a state to oppose these Israeli policies
- many Jews support these policies and other Jews support these policies clandestinely, indeed Jewish advisors led America into this preposterous war
- thus no Jew can be trusted in government any longer, as he may be working against his own state to support the inhuman policies in Palestine
In the Spanish Inquisition, many Jews would convert superficially to Catholicism but continue to practice their faith, until discovered. At that point, the unfortunate Jew (and others) would suffer persecution if not death, until finally the Jews were driven from that country.
A similar unwelcome fate awaits Jews around the world if this madness cannot be stopped. The situation suits Sharon and his Likud party fine, as they thrive on an atmosphere of hostility and mistrust. An dispossessed Jew is just a new Israeli, ripe for the settlements.
Might does not make right. Might creates terrorism, fear and misery in both persecuted and persecutor.
And the only people able to stop their self-immolation now are themselves. In America, they must put pressure on the Bush administration to stop Israel’s hand. In Israel, they must put pressure on Sharon to pursue a more equitable settlement.
We are all held responsible the actions of our leaders. And so must be the Jews.
April 16th, 2004 §
I very much enjoyed the LGF quiz comparing right wing American talk concerning the Iraqis on one particularly invidious and rather stupid website with the statements of prominent Nazis about the Jews.
Most people couldn’t tell the difference between the statements. The prolific and stimulating Billmon at Whiskeybar did score a perfect 14 out of 14 (he attributes it to having once written “a college term paper on the cultural antecedents of Nazi rhetoric”.
Most only managed just above 50% – this is a shocking score as there were only two choices per question. Nazis and LG Footballers are almost indistinguishable
In honour of that quiz, I’ve am proposing a different kind of rhetorical game.
Here is a list of quotations from famous Americans about North American Indian peoples during the 19th century. While checking population numbers for another article about genocide, I was struck by how much the American rhetoric reminded me of Sharon’s own rhetoric concerning Palestinians that I had read in passing over the course of the last couple of years.
Now I don’t read Hebrew and don’t keep up with the Israeli press closely enough to be able to find again the exact parallel statements. But I’m guessing that the bright readers of the Whiskey Bar can help.
In the comments section below, please post parallel quotations from the Israeli leadership about Palestinians, together with time and place. The quotations should be accompanied by some kind of cooberating link from within the official American or Israeli press. If the reporting is now archived and inaccessible, an exact date and page and publication will be sufficient for verification.
I would prefer quotations directly attributable to Sharon but quotations from other significant politicians in Israeli governments past and present including Netanyahu and Ben-Gurion are eligible.
Without further ado, here are the main quotations:
I believe in the [Indian] policy that exterminates the Indians, drives them outside the boundaries of civilization, because you cannot civilize them.
Congressman James M. Cavanaugh 1868
No State can achieve proper culture, civilization and progress…as long as Indians are permitted to remain.
U.S. President Martin Van Buren
The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian…. Reckless, revengeful, fiendishly cruel, they rob and murder, not the cowboys, who can take care of themselves, but the defenseless, lone settlers on the plains.
Future President Teddy Roosevelt, January 1886
They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement…Established in the midst of another and superior race…they must necessarily yield…and ere long disappear. U.S. President Andrew Jackson, Message of the President to the Two Houses of Congress, 23rd Congress, 1833
We are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians stop and check the progress of the railroad. I regard the railroad as the most important element now in progress to facilitate the military interests of our Frontier….We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux even to their extermination, men, women and children…they must feel the superior power of the Government.”
General Sherman (letter to General Grant) 1867
Not merely have all attempts to civilize them failed, but also every endeavor to enslave them. Our Indian tribes submit to extermination, rather than wear the yoke under which our Negro slaves fatten and multiply. Ethnological researcher Josiah C. Nott
Intelligence, activity, ambition, progression, high anatomical development, characterize some races; stupidity, indolence, immobility, savagism, low anatomical development characterize others….our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untameable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies safety for our settlers and the soldiers who are under incompetent commands. Otherwise, we may expect future years to be as full of trouble with the redskins as those have been in the past.
L. Frank Baum. author of the Wizard of Oz
All history and honest observation will show that the Red Man is a skulking coward and a windy braggart, who strikes without warning—usually from an ambush or under cover of night, and nearly always bringing a force of about five or six to one against his enemy; kills helpless women and little children, and massacres the men in their beds; and then brags about it as long as he lives, and his son and his grandson and great-grandson after him glorify it among the “heroic deeds of their ancestors”.
Mark Twain, 1870
The idea that a handful of wild, half-naked, thieving, plundering, murdering savages should be dignified with the sovereign attributes of nations, enter into solemn treaties, and claim a country 500 miles wide by 1,000 miles long as theirs in fee simple, because they hunted buffalo or antelope over it, might do for a beautiful reading of Hiawatha, but is unsuited to the intelligence and justice of this age, or the natural rights of mankind.
New Mexico Supreme Court, United States v. Lucero, 1 NM S. Ct. 422, 1869
There will be a prize awarded for the closest matching and verified quote. Either a copy of textSOAP, the great text cleaning utility for Windows and Macintosh very useful in web writing or an equivalent donation will be made in the winner’s name to fund the work at either ISM (International Solidarity Movement) or First Nations Site.
The prize will be awarded one month from today, on condition that neither the Bush administration nor the Israelis deploy tactical nuclear weapons in the Middle East between now and then. In that case all bets are off.
Most quotes from First Nations Site.