March 05, 2010

"Mind your own genocide"

A political cartoon makes an obvious comment on the US House of Representatives passing a resolution condemning the Turkish genocide of Armenians.

The cartoon has a point. Our genocidal actions against Indians were much worse than the Turks' genocidal actions against Armenians. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and all that.

But the cartoon overlooks a couple points:

1) The US government and many Americans have acknowledged our past crimes. True, some people are in denial about calling it genocide, but most people admit we were guilty of something. That's more than we hear most Turks saying.

2) As long as we're not in total denial about our own sins, there's nothing wrong with condemning the sins of others. We have every right and responsibility to tell the world about mass killings--whether they occurred in Rwanda, Sudan, the Balkans, Cambodia, Russia, Turkey, or the US. Helping people understand that genocide happened before and can happen again is one way to prevent it.

For more on the subject, see Armenian and Indian Genocides and Remembering Our Genocidal History.

14 comments:

Stephen said...

While US actions against Indians qualifies as colonization and a conquest it does not qualify as genocide. Genocide is defined as a crime "committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such". Thus what the USA's action do not count as genocide since US policy during the Indian wars was assimilation, or forced relocation to Indian reservations.

Meanwhile the Ottoman policy for Armenians was either murdering them or leaving them in the desert to die; which unlike US policy clearly shows an intent to destroy a group. And at that time the Armenian genocide was preceded by the Hamdian massacres. Plus the Ottomans also slaughtered, Greeks, Kurds, Assyrians and Bulgarians in what came to be known as the batak massacre.

So it's pure fiction to claim that US actions were somehow worse than Ottoman activities. Second of all the US government has apologized for atrocities committed against Indians, the Turkish government however hasn't. Recep Tayyip Erdogan (a genocide supporting anti-semite) in reply to a petition (that didn't even label Turkish crimes genocide) said that "we did not commit a crime."

Rob said...

"US policy during the Indian Wars"?! What about federal and state policies in the centuries before and after the Indian Wars, bright boy?

You don't think the federal or state governments intended to destroy the Indian nations at least "in part," as the definition you quoted says? Wow, how ignorant can you get?

Did you ever hear of the US ban on Indian religions? How about the kidnapping and brainwashing of Indian children in boarding schools? Or the "termination" applied to whole tribes in the 1950s and 1960s? Because all these are acts of genocide according to the definition.

I've answered objections like yours many times on my Genocide page and elsewhere. Read the page and educate yourself on the subject. So far the only fiction here is your alleged knowledge of American history.

As for the US admitting its crimes while Turkey hasn't, I covered that point in my posting. But I'm glad you got at least one thing right. Congratulations, and keep up the mediocre work.

Rob said...

So you're a holocaust denier, eh? Because you're trying to deny the worst holocaust--the worst case of genocide--in recorded history. Wow.

Stephen the defender of white privilege and power denies that the US tried to "destroy" Indian nations. Unbelievable but true. You read it here first, people.

Stephen said...

Also let's examine this link of yours shall we?

http://www.bluecorncomics.com/genocide.htm

You use Howard Zinn whose garbage was described as fraud even by the far left mag dissent. Ward Churchill (who is actually a genocide denier himself since he claimed that Middle Easterners do not have a history of genocide) not exactly credible sources.

""There was no room for Indians in Jefferson's empire of liberty," writes Jones. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson himself spoke frankly of what we would today call genocide. "We must leave it to yourself to decide [whether] the end proposed should be their extermination, or their removal," Jefferson once wrote to Clark's older brother, the storied Indian fighter George Rogers Clark. "The same world would scarcely do for them and us."

What he leaves out is that Jefferson wanted to inoculate the Native Americans against the European diseases somehow that doesn't show genocidial intent.

"Howard Zinn describes the Europeans' genocidal actions against the Natives they encountered. "

While it's true that Columbus and the Spanish committed atrocities and that the Pequot war was genocide none of that can be used to bash the USA since it took place before the USA even existed.

"In Indians Are Us? Ward Churchill observes that"

Oh yes and Al-Qaeda fan whose crappy work has been discredited by credible academics; not exactly a good source.

"Tim Wise laments these people—namely"

Tim Wise is a self hating 'white' who blamed Columbine on the locals and he writes for zmag and counterpunch, both mags deny the Bosniak genocide, once again not a good source.

"Natives like Todd Clark are working through organizations like AIM"

AIM supported the Provisional IRA who if they had won the NI conflict would have most likely commited genocide against unionists and nationalists who rejected terrorism.

"Then the oppressors stood back and watched, like the guards at Auschwitz, while disease, alcohol, and despair finished the job they started."

A pathetic comparison; the Natives weren't in death camps and there was a world of difference between Dachau and a reservation.

"Is that enough historical accuracy for you? If not, some additional quotes will show the Euro-Americans' deadly intent."

Did you even read the quote you posted? It describes Spanish atrociites that took place before the US of A even existed; the people who commited such vile actions were obviously not 'euro-american'.

"See Adolf Hitler: A True American for more evidence of the Euro-American attempts to commit genocide through disease."

Ah yes your ignorant little rant where you insulted US citizens by lumping them all in with hitler; a stupid bigoted argument which is also an insult to natives.

"Since the extermination of most (but thankfully not all) Native people, the United States has continued to tolerate, accept, or encourage genocide."

Interesting how you fail to mention how the US helped prevent genocide in Kosovo and Hitchens fails to mention Operation Support Hope. Also let me get this straight when the US intervenes it's guilty of 'imperialist agression and policing the world' but when it doesn't it's 'tolerating genocide', how interesting. Also the reason the USA has failed to recognize the Armenian genocide is because that it would pretty much ruin relations with Turkey (a much needed ally).

Stephen said...

"So you're a holocaust denier, eh?"

An apples to oranges comparison; the holocaust is undeniable, the concept of an Indian genocide (proponents of that concept have had to lie to support it such as churchill's smallpox blankets fiction) is still a subject of debate.

"Because you're trying to deny the worst holocaust--the worst case of genocide--in recorded history. Wow."

And that would be?

"Stephen the defender of white privilege and power"

I emailed you my reply to that topic and I have to recieve a reply.

"denies that the US tried to "destroy" Indian nations. Unbelievable but true. You read it here first, people."

If the the intention was to wipe out Indians, why bother to relocate them to reservations? Why not simply slaughter them or leave them in the desert? That would have been far more easier for the US forces.

Stephen said...

"You don't think the federal or state governments intended to destroy the Indian nations"

If they had the Indians would have been slaughtered or left in the desert to die like the Armenians, they wouldn't have been relocated to reservations.

"I've answered objections like yours many times on my Genocide page and elsewhere."

I already replied to that below.

"Read the page and educate yourself on the subject."

The only one who needs an education here is you, since you're apparently ignorant enough to believe that ward churchill is a good source.

Stephen said...

Also you have defended Chomsky and used him as a source(a denier of the Bosniak genocide):

http://www.bluecorncomics.com/2008/04/hitler-stalin-mao-and-us.html

Zinn who you used as a source multiple times described Mao's china as:

“The closest thing, in the long history of that ancient country, to a people’s government, independent of outside control.”

Zinn also denies the long history of oppression in Castro's cuba. You also link to several counterpunch articles; counterpunch has published a lot Bosniak genocide denial material. And of course you've defended churchill's hate speech. And of course you made the racist comment of calling American violence a 'white problem', so you are in no position to accuse me of being a holocaust denier.

n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linde Knighton said...

Ok Stephen, lets just look at actual history, with no filter. Andrew Jackson violated a Supreme Court decision in order to remove the Cherokee people from North Carolina at gunpoint. Many died.
The state of Georgia's Governor Troup made a secret deal with McIntosh to sell Creek lands without notifying the owners, and promised to resettle the tribe in Oklahoma. All in direct violation of Creek laws.45% of the Creeks died on the way to Oklahoma.
All tribes east of the Mississippi were supposed to be removed by force via Jackson's policy. And how to you force people all their own lands? Just by asking nicely?
As Indian lands which by treaty were supposed to belong to the signing tribes forever were opened to, "Settlement", how were to tribes taken off the land? With guns. They were shot or starved.
If you need to vilify my sources, I approve of anything nasty anyone has to say about andy jackson, so go for it.
Linde Knighton

Stephen said...

"Ok Stephen, lets just look at actual history"

Ah, actual history, something that proponents of the genocide concept can't really handle since they have to lie support their arguments.

"Andrew Jackson violated a Supreme Court decision in order to remove the Cherokee people from North Carolina at gunpoint. Many died."

Which was a horrible human rights violation but not genocide; if it was genocide the US troops would have simply murdered them which would have actually been easier.

"The state of Georgia's Governor Troup made a secret deal with McIntosh to sell Creek lands without notifying the owners, and promised to resettle the tribe in Oklahoma. All in direct violation of Creek laws.45% of the Creeks died on the way to Oklahoma.
All tribes east of the Mississippi were supposed to be removed by force via Jackson's policy. And how to you force people all their own lands? Just by asking nicely?
As Indian lands which by treaty were supposed to belong to the signing tribes forever were opened to, "Settlement", how were to tribes taken off the land? With guns. They were shot or starved.
If you need to vilify my sources, I approve of anything nasty anyone has to say about andy jackson, so go for it."

Once again that does not constitute genocide since the intent was to steal native land.

Natalie said...

There has been an American Holocaust against the indigenous Tribes of the United States. We continue to suffer its effects individually and collectively.

http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html

The United Nations defines genocide as follows:

Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide


Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948.

Article 1
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article 2
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

* (a) Killing members of the group;
* (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
* (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
* (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
* (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3
The following acts shall be punishable:

* (a) Genocide;
* (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
* (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
* (d) Attempt to commit genocide;
* (e) Complicity in genocide.

Article 4
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Article 5
The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3.

Article 6
Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.

Article 7
Genocide and the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition.

The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force.

Article 8
Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3.

Article 9
Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute....

Stephen said...

"There has been an American Holocaust against the indigenous Tribes of the United States."

Wrong, the policy of the actual holocaust was obviously extermination; the nazis went out of their way to kill Jews (since it would have actually have been easier for them to deport them). Meanwhile the U.S. policy as I previously pointed out was relocation which does not show genocidial intent. Also any credible historian can tell you most Indians died of diseases; a stark contrast to the holocaust.

All of that is why proponents of the genocide concept have to spin lies about smallpox blankets. Also I find the constant comparisons of U.S. actions to the Holocaust to be amusing since quite a few Indian organizations such as all the AIM groups support the heavily anti-semitic 'palestinian' cause. Also let me point out that I do believe the Pequot 'war' qualifies as genocide. The intent of the English colonists and their Indians allies was to wipe out the Pequot not take their land, however that took place before the USA even existed.

deb_krol said...

Hi there Stephen,

as usual, everybody has left out the California Indians, where the U.S. and California governments actually carried out a genocidal campaign against indigenous peoples. I have to get back to work, but basically take a look at any of Heizer's works, including the "Destruction of California Indians," which contains actual newspaper accounts of genocidal massacres which wiped out entire villages. The settlers of the time regarded Indians as 'vermin,' suitable only for the money their scalps would bring.

Several years back, a friend of mine by the name of Darryl Wilson tracked down the evidence that the U.S. Army ordered the eradication of coastal Indians along the northern CA coast. They would round up Indian men, women and children, march them aboard ships, sail out beyond sight of land and then dump them to drown. One group managed to get back to shore, which is how we know about this whole campaign. Darryl tracked down the order book with the order in it--went to the National Archives, checked out the book and found that the page had been torn out. Somebody is covering this up...maybe you should look into that instead of trying to deny history.

But of course there's not really any use arguing with somebody who has devoted much of his energy to denying the obvious. So as far as I'm concerned this conversation is done, there's no use arguing with closed minds.

Stephen said...

Hello Deb, my apologies for not replying sooner. I'm not denying that settlers commited atrocities however the actions of the government at that time do not show genocidial intent. The - racist and discriminatory - Act for the Government and Protection of Indians required land owners to let Indians continue to live on their lands.

And once again the US government's policy was to relocate natives to reservations not mass murder. The 14th ammendment however restored the rights of Indians and the California Constitution was amended to allow Indians to testify in courts of law. Also there were atrocities committed on both sides, for example Modoc Indians killed sixty-five white settlers in a wagon train at Bloody Point. Also could you provide with a link to Darryl Wilson's research?