Monday, August 29, 2005

Can Cyndi Sheehan prove Ward Churchill wrong?

She certainly matches up to him when it comes to conveying a keenly felt burden of grief, at least to me, except hers is more personal (less burdened with knowledge) but that is why can Americans can take her easier . . .besides, hopefully, ease the task she took on. Bush is a creep and that Americans are so blind to this fact tells you much about what they care to 'Nozi' about/in/for themselves.
Back at the old thread on worldwar four programming:

Pacifism as Pathology: Notes on an American Pseudopraxis --- Ward Churchill ----

" . .. .they offered virtually no physical opposition to the consolidation of the Nazi State. To the contrary, there is strong evidence that orthodox Jewish leaders counseled "social responsibility" as the best antidote to nazism while crucial political formulations such as the zionist Hagana and Mossad el Aliyah Bet actually seem to have attempted to co-opt the nazi agenda for their own purposes, entering into co-operative relations with the SS Jewish Affairs Bureau, and trying to use forced immigration of Jews as (page 33) a pretext for establishing a "Jewish homeland" in Palestine. shows up 64th looking for "SS Jewish"

sd, no, not 'up my sleeve' but certainly plenny relevant stuff sprinkled throughout my site (gliberally I admit); I don't feel called upon to fingertiptapspoonfeed you with it here, so let's see how far your 'love to see it' goes and comes; you might dig (for) it . .. you need not; dig?

ps: perhaps the zionist initiative was parralel to and maybe even the antecedent/innoculant that started the whole sick Nazi epidemic (shem and shaun; cheggen Q); Ward C certainly makes a mistake when he suggest the ghettos came about bycause of the Nazis unless you wanna give them very old roots indeed.

My regular reading schedule just happens to have crossed cited passage yesterday and I must say, the whole book makes more sense than I suspected it would judging from reviews (workingforchange)and polemics (Carol Moore) against it when it came out.

as far as links not working sd, for one I didn't bother to take the google spaces out here (but did for my blog)

for two, I wouldn't stick them up here if I hadn't been able to get there and find them noteworthy somehow.

You wrote: So European Jews were complicit with their own annihilation?

me: Allow me to quote from the Ward Churchill book I posted some more:

" .. . . when states perceive their international power positions eroding, or simply undergoing substantial external threat.125 Invariably, such circumstances entail the identification (i.e., manufacture), targeting, and elimination of some internal entity as the "subversive" element undercutting the "national will" and purpose. At such times the state needs no, indeed can tolerate no hint of, domestic opposition; those who are "tainted" by a history of even the milder forms of "antisocial" behavior can be assured of being selected as the scapegoats required for this fascist sort of consensus building. 126

While the precise form which might be assumed by the scapegoating involved in a consolidation of North American fascism remains unknown, it is clear that the posture of the mass nonviolent movement closely approximates that of the Jews in Germany during the 1930s. The notion that "it can't happen here" is merely a parallel to the Jewish perception that it wouldn't happen there; insistence on inhabiting a comfort zone even while thousands upon thousands of Third World peasants are cremated beneath canisters of American napalm is only a manifestation of "the attitude of going on with business as usual, even in a holocaust."127

Ultimately, as Bettelheim observed, it is the dynamic of attempting to restrict opposition to state terror to symbolic and nonviolent responses which gives the state "the idea that [its victims can] be gotten to the point where they [will] walk into the gas chambers on their own."128
And, as the Jewish experience has shown for anyone who cares to look the matter in the face, the very inertia of pacifist principles* prevents any effective conversion to armed self-defense once adherents are targeted for systematic elimination by the state. " --- page 76 from Pacifism as Pathology

You again:They started it? It was all part of a cunning plan which would obviously end with the creation of the state of Israel?

Well I'm so glad that's all cleared up. Thanks Piet.

All catalytically triggered processes are/have effects which diverge greatly from the state, substance and intent of the proverbially unmoved movers who are usually a minuscule portion of and minutely diverging version from some huge mass (zionism and messianism vs jewishness is as terrorism vs islam??); to generalize about this like you do is incorrect (no matter how much it may be considered wise by affirmative activists or otherwise politically motivated equality idealists).

Some of these effects may be calculated to rebound catalytically, thus a sort of reciprocal feed and further for substance, quantity and intent/intensity of initiating catalyst starts aforementioned effects to enter vicious circle with latter results at such speed and to such an extent that the whole ball of cheggen wax loses (in)sight of beginning and end until the fuel is spent.

Ward writes: " .. .inertia of pacifist principles .. ." -- I am going to argue that his stubborn refusal to as wax eloquent about the potential of those principles, not to mention their application, no matter how ever farther apart and fewer between they seem to be getting all the while, as he is (only too) willing to go on (and on) about the drawbacks (without mentioning that his line of reasoning implies total and utterly unreasonable hegemony that will only wither from being fought to exhaustion ((the terrorist meme))) proves him to (probably willy nilly) be an agent of the right and that's the main reason they have trumpeted his alledged subversion so clear, loud, far and widely.

His is in fact, alas, the more realist reprentation of reality on the ground. It is however never ever time for a last stand or desperate last resort measures unless you rule out the realm of possibilities (the true motor of all the ongoing fresh beginnings from the humblest speck of dust on up and beginning with squatting more than anything, ideally followed up speedily by 'ingratiatory embeddiment' in the neighbourhood, success in the local legislature; legalization and graduating to the sort of support and nurture than works little miracles like the one I started my examples out with, my favorite; the oldest and only way for heaven to take root on planets). Modeling is all the rage in this day and age; nothing happens any more without model making, rehearsing and simulation. In as far as Ward interprets and represents the left accurately (forgetting what he leaves out for a minute) he shows and relentlessly, mercilessly emphasizes and mirrors their weakness, gives voice to the obsession with sordid sides and facets of reality besides the disinclination and near complete inaptitude of presenting a jocularly infectious form of 'voorpret' (anticipatory pleasure). BUT that does make it all the more urgent to emphasize there isn't enough 'don't just count, take a chance with y our blessings' type of creativity about in the only way that counts, offer a sample to which nothing comes close. Utopian forces, unite.

Ward is a nice change from the usual 'open spaces for potential to sprout up and blossom blahblah blah' type rhetoric but to fall short of 'm is as bad as overshooting your goals. I am still convinced that unless you dramatize the 'right idea', nobody will follow up and actually begin alternatives, let alone work on a chance to change and outgrow all the bad stuff. I fancied animating a few little epic and organic videos in the eighties, nobody has taken me up on that yet. The folks that got a giant grant that could go some way toward it aren't up to it (yet):

To the extent govts disallow establishment of non-profit oriented squats, let alone the swift legalization thereof (rather than the current practice of ceding right of way to swifter kinds of money to displace them) people like Churchill become more believable, relevant and correct. A completely avoidable pity.Northanger links to an Indian tribe starting back up from scratch around this time.

9 Sample pages from Leah Kelly's last book: -- She was Ward's wife who had an in the end terminal abuse related alcohol demons in her soul; his description of his struggle with them is gripping and heartrending:

Dark Night Press / Print: Residential Schools » ...Written by Ward Churchill, published 11/1/2001 // ... express theprofundity of the sorrow I’ve incurred in the destruction of Leah Kelly… ...- 167k

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

monies, mystics and marksmen
This post concerns Pat Robertson's Fatwah over Chavez
A commenter there brings up the Protocol canard;

I go: look, 'jews' are the more ventursome part of the semitic family, 'one' of the wishyest washyest of races bycause pretty much most of those that went 'stellar'
(massive((ly numerous))) are rather mongrelized at the edges (if not the very core; which certainly seems to facilitate the clean consciousness, different drum, terra nullius types). Unrestrained pride regarding the 'guarantees'* for demographic prowess '(be)gets that (way) more than most.

The premises of a-S are non-valid cause 'jews' don't 'plan' stuff so much as they simple and implicitly make selfexamination on certain levels taboo. They 'are'** pretty damn unreflective and spontaneous, not to say impulsive or even reactionary type folk
(they have a nose for . . . springboards that help set themselves apart the furthest, roam the widest, cover the most, etcetera. It comes with the ((pursuit of)) territory).

The present retreat
(ingathering) is laudable and deserves all the help it can get and that's why I try perfect penning my pieces again and again, that is to say compose them with such hopelessly complex density that it becomes a true mirror for what happens in the 'holey' (hold out, hollowed) and surrounding lands.

Yall 'jews' have nothing to feel guilty about, ya should be welcome everywhere; the arabs in holland france and everywhere will welcome you
(who are happy to relieve demographic pressures in fundamentalism's breeding grounds, both sides of that infamous 'line' by the way; see the Pynchon scholarship that ends with these lines: "Pynchon has used language to project a world where everyone talks to God, and to each other. Perhaps it's not too much to hope that in our own world, some closr listening to the fabulists and counterfeiters, Ballad-Mongers and Cranks, whose inclusive motto might well be omnia in verba, would foster more healthy skepticism toward Lines, and less toward whatever lies on either side of them." - - 57k; don't try to share an already way too long and way too hotly contested chunk of land with your own but share the world with everybody else!).

------All bright prospects cast a shadow, one kind in particular remains all the more shadowy cause they, deserts, creep without casting them in your face enough to be alarmed (unless you are fortunate enough to be inclined and have the means to sharpen your wits on those subtleties - most americans remained oblivious of the century long holocaust at their expanding periphery); I think zionism's ideas of regreening the deserts are great and it's time we help them match their ecological footprint* to their impact and not get side tracked into .. .well .. we all know the horror stories .. .

------down with semitilitary patrism and slily secretive pahchutz; stop the motor of antropocentric desertification; permacultivate! pleach! down with holy books, up with live leaves!

------My grandmother was one of the most beautiful half assimilated dutch jewesses you'll ever see; I love them sorts of people but am not part of them so much as to lose all ability to be critical of this input for and part of my geneticocultural baggage.

'are'**1: Replace 'are' with 'tend to gravitate to', 'are inclined to' or any number of such tone downs, fact remains that ethnicities have undeniable and differently weighted characteristics and cultural traits some of which are even unique and unshared if not unsharable. The more common ones work both ways
(when you're a major league player you get granted a game with the champs and met halfway).

--------You want hi returns without scruple or shame, no troubled consciousness, no blame? We've got just the right investment opp here for you: the arms industry!!!! -- You all wanna call in the American full employment miracle? Be my guest and the earth's until we blow you off our backs in unison. I'm prepared to take her lead while she still has any of the good humoured stuff left, are you?

'are'**2: When it comes to searching for transgenerational and collective motives (semites seem to prefer getting lost in those, that is, be well buffered with brood as a tangible measure and confirmation of their success and earned privileges), extent and flavor of collaboration, etcetera semites are reflexive rather than reflective; Freud helped obscure this field of enquiry by placing emphasis on individual aspects at the expense of them. Once you declare the scary depths off-limits, too powerful to probe without backlash, hold them at armslenght for awhile, they will grow, fuse and fill all space with all that is too holy and unspeakable, nonpronouncable and what have you. Meanwhile, your very own worst characteristics will hide, find refuge and do (from) business there, etcetera.

------------------You may be aware that some people lately saw fit to declare Marx most important philosopher. It might repay our efforts to flesh out what he merely said too cryptically and abbreviatedly to sink in (or else all this tiresome confusion would be gone by now), namely that, and I paraphrase: in as far as we deal with money we are all capitalists and jews now. He omitted the vital specifications that would help differentiate between facilitatory and parasitic types of social traffic lubing money. The centralized sort that has even just about managed to do away with the distinction between state and open market money
(feminine types geared to the satisfaction of immediate and intimate needs, non-profit and local vs the fast boy high risk stuff that have in the past managed to keep each other honest as long as there is some naturally incremental standard that keeps pace, I would suggest using ((regional)) photosynthesis rates and diversities figured into basic indexed commodity baskets* ((voluntariness not to mention volutarization factored in)) for that soon).

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Settle down man, you gettin me upset

Playing cowboys and injuns without or only half realizing the losers are really gone is no problem for a kid destined to be a trodden and looked down on underdog, it sharpens the eye for those who think they can cheat the lottery and aim for a winning ticket; last night 2 dutch girls who are gonna be jewish as soon as possible and meantime milked by the rabbi who'll send them to support the settlers again when they scrambled for enough money to go again, were asked by one of the sharpest interviewers Holland has (sharp features too) if they didn't feel like they were entering a sect . ... .. .. ..

Anyway I wrote about all this settlement business as distraction from the more and more global reach zionism has and aims for really .. . hell, these girls were convinced ziomyth no. 1 about regreening the deserts is the truth!!!!!! How naive can you be?

I found the following over at Impacts of Water and Export Market Restrictions on Palestinian Agriculture -------- Agriculture remains a dominant sector of the Palestinian economy. It represents a major component of the economy’s GDP, and employs a large fraction of the population. Furthermore, the agricultural sector is a major earner of foreign exchange and supplies the basic needs of the majority of the local population. In times of difficulty, the agricultural sector has acted as a buffer that absorbs large scores of unemployed people who lost their jobs in Israel or other local sectors of the economy. Palestinian agriculture is constrained by available land and water, as well as access to markets. These constraints have been the object of political conflict, as Israeli authorities have limited available land, water and markets.

In 1967, Palestinian agricultural production was almost identical to Israel's: tomatoes, cucumbers and melons were roughly half of Israel's crop; plums and grape production were equal to Israel's; and Palestinian production of olives, dates and almonds was higher. At that time, the West Bank exported 80% of the entire vegetable crop it produced, and 45% of total fruit production (Hazboun, S., 1986). The agricultural sector was hit hard after Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Thereafter the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Palestinian Occupied Territories declined. Between 1968/1970 and 1983/1985 the percentage of agricultural contribution to the overall GDP in the West Bank fell from 37.4-53.5% to 18.5-25.4% (UNCTAD, 1990). The labour force employed in this sector has also declined. Between 1969 and 1985, the agricultural labour force, as a percentage of the total labour force, fell from 46 to 27.4% (Kahan, D., 1987).

here's something else and I hope close readers won't mind me repeating it yet again: Jeffrey Blankfort: Damage Control: Noam Chomsky & the Israel-Palestine Conflict -- More in issues #27 & #28 --- hey, Ode(.nl) fellas, pay attention here!

Song of the Settlers
by Jessamyn West; supplied by Patti Woodard

Freedom is a hard-bought thing-A gift no man can give,
For some, a way of dying, For most, a way to live.
Freedom is a hard-bought thing- A rifle in the hand,
The horses hitched at sunup, A harvest in the land.
Freedom is a hard-bought thing- A massacre, a bloody rout,
The candles lite a nightfall, And the night shut out.
Freedom is a hard-bought thing- An arrow in the back.
The wind in the long corn rows, And the hay in the rack.
Freedom is a way of living, A song, a mighty cry.
Freedom is the bread we eat, Let it be the way we die!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

hey, how do I get stuff off the front page?

??? . .. ah, under 'formatting' I find the choice offer: 7 days or 7 posts on the main page.
If Days is selected, a limit of up to 999 posts will be enforced.

serious 'repercrushions' of last night's post

. . .actually, I am not quite sure if they cite the WC file on google only since yesterday and even less clear about why exactly that one .. .. .

'vadercats' gets 694 hits on the 4th of august 2005 -- funny enough, the ones listed that were at the lycos domain are these:

seconden - 9k -- yeah, right!!! that is a 170K linkfilled file thank you very much; I am afraid it's too fresh for the retrieval trick so will have to wait till I situate meself another site some place (I'd like plenny of shade to along with it so I can maintain it in style).

(e)co-operatief capitalisme naar een 10 tal onderwerpen waarvan een gedeelte by tripod; - 66k - In cache - Gelijkwaardige pagina's --- ah at least the cache works here .. ..

coming up soon: posts that quote Ulrich von Beckerath, Julius Hensel and the most modest man with an incurable case of rocks to crush: John Hamaker.

ps: yall start posting now!!! .. .. . no congestion/delay at all .. .hardly (though real bad just the other day); I mentioned its recurrence (in additions to my oldest/front page: since I started trying out blogger . .. .oh .. . . slightly over a year ago.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

An American Holocaust? The Structure of Denial

Here's a taste of Ward Churchill's scholarship, pretty impeccable prose if you ask me.

As of 1996, the United Nations was estimating that well over 500,000 Iraqi kids under the age of 12 had died as a direct result of a U.S.-imposed and militarily-enforced embargo on things like food, medicine and the materiél necessary to repair the country’s war-ravaged sanitation infrastructure.57 There’s no way to contend that the figures are exaggerated, since no less authoritative and official a spokesperson than Madeleine Albright went on 60 Minutes and confirmed their accuracy, observing that she and her colleagues in the U.S. foreign policy establishment had decided it was “worth the price” in someone else’s children to impress upon their government that there’s a “New World Order” in which “what we say goes.”58 Could Goebbels have put it any more plainly? Could Hitler himself? Actually, approximately the same number of Iraqi adults and children have died as a result of the embargo over the past five years. So, you add it all up and you’ve got well over a million dead—only a couple hundred thousand of whom were military personnel—in a country with a population of 18-20 million, a toll quite deliberately, or at least knowingly inflicted by the United States as a matter of policy.59 The general public has been aware of this for three years, and yet there’s not been a whisper of popular outrage, much less mass protest. Frankly, I attribute a lot of this moral/legal default to the unforgivably self-indulgent approach to issue-framing and organizing adopted by America’s “peace movement” during the 1960s and early-70s.60 But, then, I attribute quite a lot of that to the blinders imposed by their indoctrination in the “one people, one genocide” paradigm which prevented the vast majority from seeing things clearly, and thus from responding appropriately. There are plenty of other recent examples of genocide being met by silence in this country: East Timor, Rwanda, Bosnia,61 and, oh yeah, how about Palestine?

The 1948 massacre of Palestinian villagers at Deir-Yassin was perpetrated by members of Lehi, usually known as the “Stern Gang,” as well as the Irgun.62 Both Lehi and Irgun were straight-up zionist terrorist organizations, and officially classified as such by the British authorities in Palestine from the mid-30s onward.63 These zionist terrorist groups greatly predate the emergence of any others in the area, so those of you inclined to cut some slack to Israel because of “the threat of Arab terrorism” would do well to remember where the Arabs got the idea.64 Hardline zionists like Avraham Stern—he was a fascist, really, enthralled by Mussolini65 —established the template. Of course, it’s always pointed out that Stern’s group, Lehi, was tiny. From that, we’re to adduce that it was unrepresentative of zionism. But, if it was really so unrepresentative, how did one of its leading members, Yitzhak Shamir, end up being elected prime minister of Israel?66 Not much “marginalization” there, obviously. Same with the Irgun. Menachem Begin, who was its head at the very time of Deir-Yassin, was, as we all know, later elected prime minister.67 Far from being unrepresentative of zionism, then or now, these guys—not just the top dogs like Begin and Shamir but the member-ship as well—have been integrated into Israel’s dominant rightwing party, the Likud, since day one.68 You don’t suppose their “terrorist background” might have anything to do with the nature of Israeli policy, do you? Aside from having everything to do with founding the state, I mean. I’ll give one example and then move on. Ariel Sharon, the man most responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacres, is also a prominent Likud member. His background is a bit different from those of Shamir and Begin in that he was too young to serve in their organizations during the pre-1948 “years of struggle.” He’s a military man in the more formal sense; made his career in the army as a paratroop officer. He didn’t work his way up by excelling at regular military duties, however. His area was “special operations.” He “made his bones,” so to speak, commanding Unit 101, a commando outfit, when it massacred the inhabitants of Qibya, a Jordanian village, in October 1953. That was to “send a message” to the Arabs during a water dispute. In early-54—a time when Israel was supposedly “at peace” with its neighbors—he led the so-called Gaza Raid into acknowledged Egyptian territory, destroying a military installation and murdering about 50 soldiers.69 This was to prompt a response from Egypt that would serve as the pretext for a war in which then-Prime Minister David Ben Gurion was sure Israel would prevail and thereby extend its southern border all the way down to Sharm el-Sheik, on the Red Sea.70 Sharon’s whole background consists of things like this. Like Begin and Shamir, he’s a world class terrorist. So what he did in Lebanon—Sabra and Shatila are only the tip of the iceberg—was right in character.71 There were no surprises there for anyone who knew his history, and how it conforms to the contours of zionist history—or Israeli history—more generally. Only by knowing that history can you be in any position to assess the current relationship between Israel and the Palestinians.

The principle, of course, extends far more broadly. It works like this: the ruling elite in every country in the world aspires to maintain the order upon which its own power and privilege depends by continuously pumping up “national morale,” inculcating among the citizenry a triumphalist notion of what they’ve achieved and the process through which, over time, they’ve achieved it. It’s more complex than what’s usually referred to, wrongly, as “nationalism.” The idea of “patriotism” comes closer, although there are almost always hefty doses of cultural chauvinism—eurocentrism, for instance—and racialist ingredients like white supremacy mixed in. Social constructions of sexual domination, articulated as “virility” or “machismo,” also play a role. In any event, the goal is to always have a critical mass of the population feeling proud of itself in a way that’s at once abstract and deeply personalized, because—this one’s a no brainer—people don’t tend to rebel against the source of their pride.72 This remains true, as a lot of marxist organizers in the U.S. have discovered, much to their dismay, even if the source of pride is objectively the source of things like class oppression. The end product here is by design a public consciousness that is neither objective nor particularly rational. What we’re talking about is what Antonio Gramsci termed “hegemony,” or, more accurately, creation of a “hegemonic bloc.”73 And establishing the hegemonic bloc requires that there be a “master narrative” of history, into which these triumphalist subsets of national narrative can fit.74 Well, it’s a little difficult to construct a triumphalist narrative of a national history that includes commission of the crime of genocide. So genocide must be denied. But how? I mean, it might be plausible to simply expunge the record in certain instances, but overall? Too many facts are known, so denial in its crudest sense, that of simply asserting that “nothing happened,” is unworkable. The trick is therefore to come up with a means of accounting for these inconvenient facts, conceding that “things happened,” but interpreting the “things” themselves as “unfortunate incidents” or “regrettable events”—the word “tragedy” comes up a lot—rather than as genocides.75 This is where the concept of Holocaust uniqueness comes into play for real. The “one genocide, one people” thesis that Jewish exclusivists have done the major work in crafting affords everyone but the Germans the service of taking them off the hook. The Germans must bear “the burden of guilt,” not only for their perpetration of the Holocaust, but for all genocide.76 That’s a heavy load, and an obviously unfair one, although I personally have a hard time feeling sorry for them on this score since they’ve done and are still doing so much to deserve the weight they’re carrying. Besides, they’re compensated rather well for carrying it. So it’s not unfairness to Germany that’s problematic; it’s the exemption of other perpetrator countries from bearing the same burden. And that’s exactly why Holocaust uniqueness/Jewish exclusivism has found such resonance among the world’s ruling elites that it has been embraced as a matter of Official Truth. Official Truth. Once again, I should note that I’m not overstating things for effect. Consider the arrangement between the governments of Israel and Turkey, wherein the Turks will deliver in their schools a curriculum in which children are instructed that the Holocaust, or the Jewish aspect of it at any rate, was history’s only “true” genocide. In exchange, Israeli school children are instructed to believe that the Turkish extermination campaign directed against Armenians from 1914 through 1918 was not genocide. When Armenian Americans approached the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum with the idea of observing a day of commemoration for the million-plus victims of the Armenian genocide, both governments, Turkish and Israeli, intervened with the board to protest.77 And so, of course, the commemoration—which is to say, the public education aspects of any such proceeding—never occurred. Now that’s pretty damned official, wouldn’t you say? So was the policy of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1990-91, when it was soliciting proposals for public education projects it could fund as part of the planned national celebration of the Columbian Quincentennial in the U.S. The evaluation procedure began with a screening where any proposal in which the word “genocide” appeared was simply removed from further consideration. There’s a delicious little irony involved in this one because it turned out that a bunch of proposals for projects designed to prove that genocide is not an appropriate descriptor of either the “initial encounter” or “Columbian legacy” were arbitrarily weeded out, merely for having mentioned the word. People are always shocked when I mention this one, but I don’t know why. The NEH policy in this case wasn’t especially different from that embodied in the accreditation “standards” imposed with respect to the teaching of history in every public school in the United States. Japan notoriously excludes information concerning its atrocities in China and elsewhere during the 1930s and ‘40s from its public school curricula,78 but, in that, one can find little difference from how the U.S. excludes information about what was and is being done to American Indians. While we’re on the topic of official truth, has anyone considered the implications of there being a museum memorializing the Holocaust in Washington, D.C., and none for the American Indians who were by all accounts eradicated as part of the process of forming this country? And none memorializing the institution of slavery? I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a Holocaust museum. Actually, I think there should, and that it should include Gypsies on an absolutely equal footing with Jews,79 that Slavs should be included as well, and that it should serve as the sponsoring vehicle for commemorating genocides other than the Holocaust (that of the Armenians being only one example).80 But my point is that an institutionalized focusing of the public gaze on a genocide or genocides occurring half-a-world away, meanwhile remaining silent about the holocausts that occurred here, adds up to a calculated diversion of attention. And it doesn’t redeem the situation a bit to observe that the Holocaust museum is only quasi-official. The vacuum against which it’s balanced is very official. I don’t want to be accused of leftwing bias here, especially since I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a leftist, so I’ll note that the record in the socialist countries has been no better. Not “worse,” mind you, but no better. The Large Soviet Encyclopedia, for instance, defined genocide as “an offshoot of decaying capitalism.”81 All the stuff Stalin did to the Ukrainians and others during the collectivization drives of the 1930s was officially described as “criminal”—Khrushchev announced it as such during the mid-50s—but never as genocide.82 That remained by official designation a peculiarly nazi crime. And China? I’ve got a hot news flash for anybody who’s sporting a “Free Tibet” sticker on your bumper. There are a few dozen other nationalities subsumed in what used to be called “Red China,” all of whom are in as bad or worse shape than the Tibetans, and the fact that none of them happens to have developed a spiritual tradition appealing to the Naropa Institute doesn’t make them any less worthy of notice.83 I’d like to build on Santayana a bit. If “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it,” as he observed, then what are we to say of those who are prevented from learning it in the first place? Worse still, how about those force-fed a false history? Being denied the ability to recognize genocides past translates into an inability to recognize genocides present. Inability to recognize the phenomenon for what it is precludes the ability to combat it effectively, and that, in turn, paves the way for future perpetration.84 So, the official silencing and deformation of history we’ve been discussing is not motivated simply by elite desires to infuse the body politic with properly triumphalist outlooks. It’s motivated even more strongly by the desire of those same elites to preserve genocide as a viable policy option, even while they outlaw it in a formal sense and indulge in the loftiest rhetoric condemning it. The way in which the United States recently purported to have finally ratified the 1948 Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, meanwhile attaching a “sovereignty package” in which it claimed the “right” to be self-exempting from compliance, is a perfect illustration.85

You’d think, in the face of what I’ve been laying out, that somewhere along the line at least one of the major Jewish exclusivists might have had a revelatory experience and come to the conclusion that, “Oh my god, I’ve been wrong, we’ve got a lot in common with American Indians, and it would be in everybody’s interest, my own people’s most of all, if I were to use my standing as a recognized Holocaust scholar to point it out.” But it’s never happened. Not once, that I’m aware of. Quite the opposite. I was talking about silence a few minutes ago, and Lipstadt is a good example of it, but it’s more than that. Steven Katz, for instance, actually took time out from his busy schedule preparing The Holocaust in Historical Context to write a side essay, “The Pequot War Revisited,” in which he contended that the Pequot people of present-day Connecticut suffered “at most, cultural genocide,” because only half of them were physically exterminated during the 1637 “war” conducted against them. Moreover, he concludes, there are still a few people of Pequot descent alive today, so what happened “couldn’t” have added up to genocide.122 No, I’m not kidding. I really wish I were. Katz was way low on the proportion of Pequots killed—Connec- ticut colony declared them officially extinct after the Mystic Massacre, in which about 800 were slaughtered in a single night123—but even if he weren’t, by his own estimate they suffered a proportional fatality rate only ten percent less than that of the Jews during the Holocaust. Should we therefore adduce that Jews, too, experienced “at most, cultural genocide”? That the Holocaust didn’t “really” add up to genocide because there are still “Jewish-descended individuals” like Katz himself living in places like Israel and New York? I’ll spare you my usual commentary about insanity, while nonetheless pointing out that this is an example of holocaust denial, actively so, no less callous than that spewed by the worst of the neonazis.

VI I want to move beyond the exclusivists themselves because in this connection they’re just support troops. The main weight of denial where Indians are concerned is carried by mainstream American historians, like James Axtell at the College of William and Mary, who’s considered the dean of U.S. “ethnohistorians.”124 He’s our David Irving, so to speak. Actually, we’ve got a bunch of Irving look-alikes operating in this area—try Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., managing to win a Pulitzer Prize with a biography of Andrew Jackson that never once mentions the “Trail of Tears,” that is, removal of the Five Civilized Tribes from the Southeast, which I highlighted earlier and which Jackson was instrumental in initiating;125 or Patricia Nelson Limerick’s writing a new, revised and very popular “history of the West” that avoids all reference to such uncomfortable events as major massacres.126

But I want to use Axtell as exemplar, partly because he is, and partly because I can do it anecdotally. Before I go into the anecdote, however, I want to ask what an “ethnohistorian” is supposed to be. I mean what is “ethnohistory”? Sounds kind of exotic doesn’t it? But how do you distinguish it from “history,” per se? History, “real” history, is the history of Europe and its offshoots; white people’s history, as it were. “Ethnohistory,” then, is all the sideline stuff concerning everybody else. But, then, what does that imply? That white folks have no ethnicity? That the term “ethnicity” itself applies only to people with a certain melanin content, and is thus being used as a euphemism for “race”? If so, isn’t the whole procedure of prefixing certain disciplinary subparts with “ethno-” a covert racialist construction, and isn’t “racialist” just a polite way of saying “racist”?127 As for myself, I figure all history is ethnically-oriented, so, either you call the whole field “ethnohistory,” or none of it. Anyway, Axtell is quite happy being described as an “ethnohistorical” heavy-hitter, and, it follows perhaps, he’s always been avid to utilize that peculiar standing in defense of orthodoxy, no matter how illogically. He ran around all over the country during the prelude to the Quin- centennial publicly bashing graduate students for using the term “genocidal” to describe the Columbian legacy, although he himself had already acknowledged five separate genocides as occurring in North America between 1630 and 1765. He was also prone to railing against comparisons of conquistadors to nazis because, in his words, “after all, the conquistadors were human beings and we need to understand them as such.”128 One can only wonder what he thinks the nazis were. Space men? Anyhow, needless to say, there were a few of us out there who were gunning for him in return, and Don Grinde, the Yamasee historian, and I finally caught up with him in public at the American Historical Association conference in 1993. He was conducting a workshop for high school history teachers, running his usual line, when Grinde and I sauntered in and started popping inconvenient questions. Pretty soon, his face looked like a beet and we were embroiled in a demographic argument and the high school teachers’ eyes were getting real big. Finally, in sheer exasperation, he threw up his hands and said something to the effect of, “Fine. Just to end this damned argument, let’s say I accept your contention that there were 15 million people here when the first European arrived. It doesn’t matter. It still wasn’t genocide.” When I asked why, he replied, and this one I can quote verbatim, “Because no matter how many there were, 75 percent of them still died of disease.”129 Now, there’s Smithsonian-style “science” at its finest. He can’t tell you with any certainty how many there were, but he can tell you with precision what proportion died of what cause. This is the cornerstone denier’s position with regard to what I’m going to follow David Stannard and call the American Holocaust.130 Well, Grinde and I just glanced at each other and smiled, because we knew we had him. And Don says, “Okay Jim, just to be fair, let us accept that. So what?” Axtell gets all puffed up like he’s ready to accept another award and delivers his “crushing” blow, speaking as if he’s delivering a lecture to 4-year-olds. “Because nobody can be held responsible for the deaths attributable to disease,” he replies. Now’s my chance, so I say, “That’s funny. Something like half the victims of the Holocaust died of disease, and the Nuremberg Tribunal held that the nazis were as guilty in relation to those deaths as they were for those they shot, gassed and burned alive.”131 Now, he looks a little flustered. “That’s true,” he says, “and I agree with the decision, but you’re comparing apples and oranges.” He got a chorus on that one, not just Grinde and I, but some of the teachers joining in: “How’s that, Jim?” “Because,” he responds, “whatever else can be said of the nazis, they were 20th century men. Even the guards in the camps, who were mostly uneducated, were aware of how disease is communicated. They knew they were forcing people to live under conditions where epidemics would run rampant, and so they were properly held accountable for the deaths that resulted. You simply can’t apply that standard to Columbus, or the conquistadors, or anyone, really, until the end of the 19th century. They had no idea what a microbe was, no scientific understanding of what was happening to the Indians. So, even though they brought in the microbes that caused mass death, they can’t be held accountable for it.132 And to argue otherwise, as you two are doing for your own obviously political reasons, is not to further historical understanding but to preclude it altogether.” There it is in all its glory. The whole rap, succinctly framed, by which American historical orthodoxy has sought to make the virtual disappearance of North America’s indigenous population seem benign. An “inadvertent tragedy,” is the usual term deployed.133 Can you really buy that? Well, let’s interrogate it a little.

Did Columbus, and the conquistadors, and the other Europeans importing pathogens to the New World understand the cause/effect relationship of their conduct, and can they therefore be legitimately seen as culpable? The answer is “absolutely.” How can I know this? Because, as any specialist like James Axtell knows perfectly well, they wrote it down, not once or twice or on occasion, but more-or-less continuously. It’s there in ships’ logs and the reports of expeditionary leaders, in official correspondence and private diaries, in clerical documents and published travelogues. Some bemoan it, others celebrate it, and most attribute it to intervention of the “Hand of God”; but they all agree on one thing: “We come, they die in huge numbers.”134 And what was their collective response to this understanding? Did they recoil in horror and say, “Wait a minute, we’ve got to halt the process, or at least slow it down until we can get a handle on how to prevent these effects”? Nope. Their response pretty much across-the-board was to accelerate their rate of arrival, and to spread out as much as was humanly possible.135

For anyone who might still find the situation too “ambiguous,” I’ll hand you the smoking gun. It comes in the form of an order written in 1763 by Lord Jeffrey Amherst, a ranking official in North America, to a colonel named Henry Bouquet. In it, Amherst instructs Bouquet to invite representatives of a multinational military alliance assembled by the Ottawa leader Pontiac to a peace parlay in the Ohio River Valley. Since the English were doing the asking, Amherst observed, frontier diplomatic protocol required that they bestow gifts upon the Indians who showed up. “Make these,” he instructed, “items taken from a small pox infirmary, in order”—and I’m quoting him directly—”in order that we may extirpate this execrable race.” A couple of weeks later, Bouquet writes back, saying that he’d done as he was instructed, distributing blankets, handkerchiefs and “other sundry items,” and that “hopefully, this will obtain the desired result.”136 It did. Even by the Smithsonian’s low count, somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 Indians died of smallpox over the next six months.137

There are a few items worthy of mention in this connection. First, Howard Peckham, longtime president of the American Historical Association, discovered the documents I’m referring to in the British Royal Archive during the mid-1930s, but then proceeded to sit on them for years.138 Second, the “incident” has been described as “history’s first documented instance of biological warfare.” That’s wrong on two counts. On the one hand, it’s well documented that Tamerlane was catapulting the bodies of plague victims into besieged cities in order to spread disease a full century before Columbus (which means that Columbus and his peers weren’t quite so ignorant of how disease is communicated as Axtell would have it).139 On the other, “war” is directed against combatants. Amherst said in so many words that his goal was to “extirpate the race .” So, what we actually have here is history’s first documented instance of genocide attempted by bacteriological means. It’s important not to view what Amherst did as an isolated matter. It wasn’t. It’s simply the best documented. There are several earlier cases, one involving Captain John Smith of Pocahontas fame. There’s some pretty strong circumstantial evidence that Smith introduced smallpox among the Wampanoags as a means of clearing the way for the invaders.140

Over the next century, both the Pequot War and what’s called King Philip’s War were fought in the same area, at least in part because the Indians had become convinced—and, again, there’s evidence to support it—that the colonists were deliberately infecting them, using contaminated trade goods for the purpose.141 I don’t want to leave the impression that this sort of thing happened only in the Northeast, or only at the hands of the English. In 1836, at Fort Clark, on the upper Missouri River, the U.S. Army did the same thing as Amherst. It was considered desirable to eliminate the Mandans, who were serving as middlemen in the regional fur trade, and, by claiming a share of the profits in the process, diminishing the take of John Jacob Astor and other American businessmen. So the commander of Fort Clark had a boatload of blankets shipped upriver from a smallpox infirmary in St. Louis, with the idea of distributing them during a “friendship” parlay with the Mandans. There’s a bit of confusion as to whether they actually started passing them out, or whether some young Indian men “stole” a couple of blankets, but it really doesn’t matter, because the army was planning on distributing them anyway. Irrespective of the particulars in this regard, when the first Mandans began to display symptoms of the disease, they went straight to the post surgeon. They knew nothing about treating smallpox, but they’d heard about it and were terrified of it, and, since it was a white man’s disease, they went to the white doctor to find out what to do. What did he tell them? To scatter, to run for their lives, to seek shelter in the villages of healthy relatives as far away as possible.142 It follows that what might have been a localized epidemic—the Mandans were pretty much doomed the moment the smallpox broke out among them, but it might have ended with them—ends up a pandemic that rages for 15 years, from the Blackfeet confederation in southern Canada all the way down into Texas, killing who knows how many people. The Smithsonian acknowledges about 100,000 fatalities. Thornton suggests it may have been as many as 400,000.143 Whatever the number, it made the subsequent U.S. military conquest of the Great Plains region, which began in earnest about the time the pandemic was ending, a whole lot easier than it would otherwise have been. Of this, there can be no doubt. The fact that the army still had a tough time subduing the Lakotas, Cheyennes, Comanches and other peoples of the Plains is simply a testimony to how hard those peoples fought to preserve their ways of life, not that the effects of the disease were less than they were.144

The “Fort Clark episode,” as it’s often called, has always been passed off by mainstream historians as just another one of those “inadvertent tragedies.” There aren’t any documents as explicit in their expression of intent as there are in the Amherst case, so they very conveniently chalk it up to “ignorance” on the part of the officers involved, including the post surgeon. And it’s of course true that they weren’t yet acquainted with microbes, but let’s consider what they did know. Lady Mary Wortley Montague had introduced the principle of vaccination to England somewhere around 1715. By about 1750, the whole English army had been inoculated against smallpox—that’s what allowed Amherst to do what he did—and, by 1780, George Washington had ordered that his Continental Army be inoculated as well.145 So, unquestionably, the surgeon at Fort Clark was aware of the procedure. It had long since become standard. Indeed, a whole supply of vaccine, designated for inoculating Indians, was sitting in his store-room when the disease broke out. It had been there for several months, and there is no evidence that he’d ever tried to use it for its intended purpose.146 Both the surgeon and the post commander were also quite aware of the principle of quarantine. Quarantining people who’d come down with the pox had been standard medical practice for the better part of 50 years. All things considered, then, it seems to me you’d have to have undergone a lobotomy to actually believe that the surgeon’s telling the Mandans to “scatter” and “run for their lives” was either “accidental” or an “honest mistake.” And this isn’t the end of it.

Items appeared in the San Francisco press in the early 1850s indicating that the pox had been deliberately introduced among the Indians of northern California, and a decade later the papers in that city were still discussing the efficacy of “exterminating” Indians by disease.147 It’s their word, not mine. Later in the 19th century, there seems little question but that a group of traders did the same with the Carriers and other peoples in northern British Columbia.148 It continues right on into the early 20th century when it’s fairly clear that an epidemic was unleashed among the Dene of the Northwest Territories. At least no particular effort was made to provide medical treatment once the disease took hold.149 So what’s that come to? A dozen instances, including three that were hugely lethal, where it is either known, or where there’s very good reason to suspect, that disease was consciously and intentionally used to destroy native populations.150 There’s also a whole backdrop of discourse in which newspaper editors and the like are both celebrating what’s been done and arguing that there should be more of it. It’s in the face of this record—which is quite preliminary, very little research has been done as yet—that people like James Axtell persist in asserting that the erosion of native population through disease was “benign,” free of perpetrators, and that it “precludes proper historical understanding” to so much as suggest anything else.151 I don’t know how you define denial, but this works pretty well for me.

via society for threatened peoples

Ward Churchill. An American Holocaust? The Structure of Denial. Socialism and Democracy Online. Vol 17, No. 1, Issue #33 - 29k

Other Voices 2.1 (February 2000), Ward Churchill "Forbidding the ...Forbidding the "G-Word": Holocaust Denial as Judicial Doctrine in Canada ...the disintegration of a social structure grounded in families led by successful - 53k

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