I almost thought Fox News was responsible for posting some of the information on the web about Native American history. Omission and blatant misleading misinformation such as the soldiers weren't with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Then who was it that forced the Cherokee to leave their dead relatives on the trail? I also found numbers that were disgustingly off and blame like, "Remember they agreed to this." The tribal museums, eyewitness accounts, and reports on those eyewitness accounts provide the best information; not Wikipedia or any other "source" that contradicts what really occurred, even if only in parts. The truth still wants to be forgotten by some, I can only speculate as to who they are.
Crossposted at Progressive Historians
I made the error of trying to understand the "why" the Trail of Tears happened when I wrote this:
And then, only a fictional movie can begin to explain it to me.
Scene from "Exorcist III":
The Gemini Killer: I kill at random... no motive... that's the fun.
Dt. Kinderman: This I believe in... I believe in death. I believe in disease. I believe in injustice and inhumanity, torture and anger and hate... I believe in murder. I believe in pain. I believe in cruelty and infidelity. I believe in slime and stink and every crawling, putrid thing... every possible ugliness and corruption, you son of a bitch. I believe... in you.
"Why" only led me to my own esoteric philosophies and trying to align some of those with the research and conclusions of Alice Miller to "understand it." However, the result was just more and more confusion.
I decided I could only barely grasp it by looking at the behaviors that resulted from prior events. I asked myself "what," in terms of what the behavior was that the author of this statement refers to.
The Trail of Tears and the Middle Passage are journeys to the first of the concentration camps-Indian reservations and plantations-and the beginnings of the U.S. strategy to work the captured and colonized to death.
Asking "why" also led me searching prior events. I remembered Wilma Mankiller mentioning the Panic of 1837 in her book when I came across it again.
The Panic of 1837 resulted from President Andrew Jackson's attack on the Second Bank of the United States. Following the War of 1812, the United States government recognized the need for a national bank to regulate the printing of currency and the issuance of government bonds.
It turned out to be the worst economic depression that the young nation had yet known.
First Depression in American history. Banks lost money, people lost faith in banks, and the country lost faith in President Martin van Buren.
Thousands of people were out of work in a country that had never been through such an experience. In the cities, mobs stormed the warehouses for food, flocked to the poorhouses, and committed crimes so they could go to jail, where they could at least survive. Although prosperity began to return within two years, it came too late to save Van Buren politically. In the 1840 election, he was badly defeated by his former opponent, William Henry Harrison, and suffered what was to him the disgrace of being a one-term president.
Social analysis of "why" it occurred could only be understood case by case of the entire population, so the more useful question that may lead to solutions and learning its lessons now is, "What happened?"
Radical supremacist beliefs with religious fundamentalist views (labeling the Cherokee and all indigenous as evil, in service to the Devil, and inferior. Ex.: Extermination and Manifest Destiny).
"Gold fever" and greed was in the midst of great economic collapse and social upheaval.
Hasty conclusions were made regarding land and natural resources.
False claims by the U.S. government were made of a legitimate treaty(s).
Bullying was done to the Cherokee as a social phenomenon.
Only while military power was too weak to force the Cherokee's removal, was deception used.
Military power was built while bullying and deception was used to buy time.
Military power was established.
Announcement of the hostile military takeover and forced relocation with false blame was made, deception ceased.
Cherokees were forced from homes at gunpoint. Theft, destruction, and complete loss of their property and homes were also traumatic consequences of the "roundup."
Cherokees were transported to military forts, which transformed into prison, concentration and death camps for approximately ? year.
The greatest atrocities occurred in the internment camps, because the prisoners were helpless while the soldiers were fully armed.
The approximate 70,000 Native American Indians that were forced to relocate, were the only ones left to relocate. The Government's use of extermination was successful. Smallpox and diseases used as germ warfare by "trading" or "gifting" infected blankets after germ warfare's "discovery" continued to exterminate 90% of the indigenous population.(1) First, it was unintentional with the discovery of the Americas, then diseases were used deliberately. Massacres, wars, murders, and mutilations killed the rest even before the forced relocations began. This only left approximately 5% to forcibly remove.(1)
The Trails of Tears were several trails that the Five Civilized Tribes traveled on their way to their new lands. Many Indians died because of famine or disease. Sometimes a person would die because of the harsh living conditions. The tribes had to walk all day long and get very little rest. All this was in order to free more land for white settlers... At that time there was reported to be sightings of gold in the Cherokee territory in Georgia which caused prospectors to rush in, tearing down fences and destroying crops. In Mississippi, the state laws were extended over Choctaw and Chickisaw lands, and in 1930 the Indians were made citizens which made it illegal to hold any tribal office.
The term "Trails of Tears" was given to the period of ten years in which over 70,000 Indians had to give up their homes and move to certain areas assigned to tribes in Oklahoma. The tribes were given a right to all of Oklahoma except the Panhandle. The government promised this land to them "as long as grass shall grow and rivers run." Unfortunately, the land that they were given only lasted till about 1906 and then they were forced to move to other reservations.
The Choctaw's long journey to their new home, which was often made without the supplies and wagons promised in the treaty, was arduous. Many did not survive. As with other Indian groups that were moved west, the Choctaw remember this trek as a "Trail of Tears."
(1) Kurt Kaltreider, PH.D. "American Indian Prophecies," p.44:
?It is estimated that 100 million Indians from the Caribbean, Central, South, and North America perished at the hands of the European invaders. Sadly, unbelievably, really, much of that wholesale destruction was sanctioned and carried out by the Roman Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations.(1: p.37)
From 100,000,000 to 70,000, prior to forced removal and relocation.
Since recognizing the past in the present is a key to not repeating it, I then asked myself what I've observed recently that mirrors this past.
First, "Dominionism" is the modern equivalent of Manifest Destiny.
Michelle Goldberg, "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism." p.13
As the historian Garry Wiles has noted`Dominion theologians'lay great emphasis on Genesis 1:26-27, where God tells Adam to assume dominion over the animate and inanimate world. Thus the true inheritors of this world are Christians who can `name it' and `claim it' by divine right."
Second, this was an instance where Stalin's notorious quote, "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem" was used by Edwin Vieira in the "War on the Courts," and is a modern example of "extermination."
Michelle Goldberg, "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism" p.160 :
Constitutional lawyer Edwin Vieira discussed Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion which struck down that state's antisodomy law. Vieira accused Kennedy of relying on "Markist, Leninist, Satanic principles drawn from foreign law. "What to do about Communist judges in thrall to the Devil? Vieira said, "Here again I draw on the wisdom of Stalin. We're talking about the greatest political figure of the twentieth century. He had a slogan, and it worked well for him whenever he ran into difficulty. No man, no problem.'"
I also consider the following current events to be strikingly similar to the Trail of Tears in terms of their potential usage, although not identical in language. They are: economic overextension due to the war, acquiring oil via war when other alternatives for energy production and consumption exist, NAFTA treaties have been signed without the consent of congress, "terror" was used in attempting to win a crucial election by the party in power at the time (bullying), the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act with the added power of section 1076 and
share much in common collectively for their potential usage as the Indian Removal Act and the Treaty of New Echota did in terms of empowering the military. Individual or collective "roundups," transportation to prisons, and detention where torture ensued were the consequences of the Indian Removal Act and the Treaty of New Echota. Likewise, those consequences have followed for foreign nationals with the Patriot Act at least, but have yet to follow for a natural born American citizen as far as I know.
Perhaps in addition to this serious sentiment expressed in "Indian Country":
Military Commissions Act raises painful memories:
Ghosts of Sioux warriors surround the controversy on the Military Commissions Act, 38 of them to be precise. They offer a warning that should not be ignored.
On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the type of tribunal the Bush administration intended to use for terrorist trials. On Sept. 29, Congress passed a fix that met the court's objections but left civil libertarians very nervous. The issues are an eerie echo of the debate over one of the most notorious of these tribunals, which 154 years ago ordered the largest mass execution in U.S. history. This was the military commission of Col. Henry Sibley, which tried and condemned alleged participants in the Minnesota Sioux uprising of 1862.
?the Trail of Tears should also be "offered as a warning," as long as those "acts" are law and the Bush Administration or likewise politicians in the GOP control the executive branch. If 1/3 of our planet earth is DESERT IN 2100, I can imagine the cycle of panic, violence, and "forced removal" might possibly happen again.
''Those who do not know their history are condemned to repeat it.'' -Georges Santayana.
Cherokee letter protesting the Treaty of New Etocha from Chief John Ross. "To the Senate and House of Representatives":
By the stipulations of this instrument, we are despoiled of our private possessions, the indefeasible property of individuals. We are stripped of every attribute of freedom and eligibility for legal self-defence. Our property may be plundered before our eyes; violence may be committed on our persons; even our lives may be taken away, and there is none to regard our complaints. We are denationalized; we are disfranchised. We are deprived of membership in the human family! We have neither land nor home, nor resting place that can be called our own. And this is effected by the provisions of a compact which assumes the venerated, the sacred appellation of treaty.
As I walk the trail of life
in the fear of the wind and rain,
grant O Great Spirit
that I may always walk
like a man
Prayer before the U.S. Senate - 1975; by Frank Fools Crow, Old Lord of the Holy Men
Ceremonial Chief and Medicine Man of the Lakota Nation (he was the peaceful arbitrator at the 1973 Siege of Wounded Knee):
"Give us a blessing so that our words and actions be one in unity,
and that we be able to listen to each other, in so doing,
we shall with good heart walk hand in hand to face the future.
In the presence of the outside, we are thankful for many blessings.
I make my prayer for all people, the children, the women and the men.
I pray that no harm will come to them,
and that on the great island, there be no war,
that there be no ill feelings among us
From this day on may we walk hand in hand
So be it."
After a solid act one in the Defense Authorization fight, in which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid actually made the Republicans follow through on their filibuster threat, he's pulled the bill entirely until the GOP allows a vote on the Reed-Levin amendment.
Reid's got absolutely nothing to lose here. With public approval of congress lower than even our approval of George Bush, Reid has a lot of incentive to make this a fight about acting on the will of the public. Particularly since Harry Reid and the Democratic Party are, you know, on the side of the public will.
And don't forget: the reason that the GOP doesn't want this amendment to move forward is that it would trigger a veto from their boss and lay the story out clearly for everyone to see: Democrats are working extraordinarily to force a course change in Iraq, and George Bush and his GOP are quashing every attempt to end their very unpopular war.
Read The Full Article:
Playing hard ball. Reid just pulled the Defense Authorization bill off the floor. If the GOP Senators want to continue filibustering meaningful Iraq legislation, Reid won't proceed.
GOP leader Mitch McConnell gave a floor statement that made it clear the Republicans will filibuster every Iraq bill and amendment.
Harry Reid is doing what the American people want. The Republicans are too committed to Bush and his failed war.
Bob Geiger, who knows the Senate better than almost anyone, has a good analysis.
The Dems are doing what they should have been doing all the way along. And that is, they are forcing a vote in the Senate on the Iraq war. And they should keep forcing votes in the Senate over and over and over.
A sorry clot of Republicans who have broken with the Prez on his conduct of the war in Iraq, refused yesterday to back a plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. Two Republicans who have been very vociferous in their criticism of the president?s Iraq policy, Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) and Pete V. Domenici (R-NM), said they would oppose the Democratic plan.
As Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) said, ?Many of these senators have been back home telling their constituents they?ve given up on the president?s policy in Iraq...well, the question is, will they have the courage now to vote with those who want real change??
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who is a leading sponsor of the Democratic plan said, ?It is on the right track...it is moving in the right direction and it is a very significant change.? But Alexander said he would not support the Dem?s withdrawal proposal.
The American people need to see this. They need to see that the Republicans who are voicing their disapproval of the Bush administration?s conduct of its war in Iraq, do not have the balls to show that they have broken with Bush?s policies and that they want change.
?You wonder if they are more interested in politics than dealing with the substance of this,? Senator George V. Voinovich, (R-OH) said.
Speaking about the fact that the Democrats used the same tactics (such as not allowing a simple majority vote) when they were the minority party as the Republicans are using now, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said, ?It doesn?t pass the smell test.?
Oh my! McCain is surely the wrong person to use that particular metaphor. His whole presidential campaign has not passed the smell test. He has lied, he has kissed the asses of the very people who slandered him in his first presidential campaign, he has made inflammatory pro-Bush statements, he has condoned malfeasance in the Bush administration, and he has flip-flopped on important issues. Now his campaign is bankrupt and he will probably have to pull out of the race, all because his campaign stinks to high heaven.
If anything doesn?t pass the smell test, it is Republicans who are willing to talk the talk but who won?t walk the walk in favor of measures to end the calamitous war in Iraq.
Read The Full Article:
Crossposted from Town Called Dobson
click to enlarge
How many times in American history have we fought wars over economics instead of human rights? The Revolutionary War was a fight for freedom and democracy, but it was for Whites only. The Civil War was about ending slavery but it took about a century for equal rights to bestowed upon African Americans and between those two events, we had two World Wars. In the last World War, we jailed people of Japanese descent just because of their ethnicity- even Americans that were born here were thrown into concentration camps - not in Gitmo, but in California, Arizona, Utah and many other states.
During the first Gulf War, we moved into the Middle East to kick out the Iraqis from Kuwait - a theocratic dictatorship with a horrible human rights record, but we rode into town and liberated the dictatorship of Kuwait.
Now we find ourselves in a fake war in Iraq with no real or visible reason other than the oil. When this nation is faced with war over Human rights, we flinch, or I should say, our government flinches.
It took a lot of courage to go into Kosovo. Even though there was heavy outcry by the GOP not to go into Kosovo and stop the genocide, we did and we were successful. The Taleban has been committing endless human rights violations for years, but it took a Saudi terror attack on the United States to get us to move on the Taleban (where the Saudi's weren't). But what about Darfur? You can throw a dart at Africa and chances are you will hit a dictator that is far worse than Saddam ever was, but into Iraq we went. Darfur continues to be ignored, just as we ignored Rwanda.
Oh, and maybe in another century after homosexuals gain equal rights, the Lakota will finally get the Black Hills back after it was stolen by the United States government.
Sadly, this country will never fight a war to bestow the equal rights owed to homosexuals - it will need to be a slow budding of awareness in the hearts of Americans. Society is changing, not fast enough for some and too fast for others. But the change and embracement will come.
Here is a little story to explain why I believe this. I am a Southern White Boy born in 1963 and my wife is a Strong Black Women born two years later. When we were born, it was illegal for Blacks and Whites to marry and it wasn't until 1967 that the last of the anti-miscegenation laws was struck down. Back in the 1960's, the racism in American was still very, very strong. Lynchings, rape and murder were all still a reality for Blacks in America.
But things changed and they changed rapidly. By the time I had arrived in high school in 1978, I was living in a small little rural town in North Carolina called, oddly enough, Dobson. Somehow, between 1967 and 1978, interracial dating had gone from being a suicidal taboo to being the "in" thing to do. I started dating, and snogging like no tomorrow, out of my race by the time I was 16. Channell and I have now been married for 14 and a half years and no one, except for one idiot uncle, has ever given us any grief over the color difference. They do ask why on earth a quality woman like Channell is with the likes of me, and sometimes I wonder that myself!
Color? No one cares. Soon, no idea when but soon, no one will care if two women get married. Or two men and just as color fell away from most, so will orientation.
Humans will still have hang-ups and some things will still be seen as outlandishly unacceptable by society, like what if someone marries a philandering Republican that switches hookers as often as his socks? Well, that taste NEVER leaves your mouth.
Read The Full Article:
So says this Washington Post blog. How safe do you feel?
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The GOP Senators continue to stick with George Bush's failed Iraq strategy. They just voted to the stay the course on Iraq by preventing an up or down vote on the Levin-Reed amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. So, their filibuster succeeded. And, yes, this was a filibuster.
The vote was 52 - 47. (Harry Reid voted NO, but that was for procedural reasons -- so he could move to recommit.)
In Upper Darby, a suburb of PA, they wanted Mr. Bush far away from a civil rights lawsuit. See, the Upper Darby police had wrongfully arrested a protestor back in 2003, and they’re afraid to have Bush’s name even spoken during the trial. When 78 year old Harold Lischner did the protesting, his [...]
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U.S. officers working under the NATO command in Afghanistan have said that deadly EFP explosive devices have been found in Afghanistan, but that there is no evidence that the Iranian leadership is involved, contradicting recent claims by Bush administration officials.
Thomas Kelly, a US colonel under NATO command, said forces had found several of the so-called "explosively-formed projectiles" that were more sophisticated than the crudely-made bombs usually used by Afghan insurgents.Notice first of all that their information that these EFP's are only manufactured in Iran is an older version of the U.S. military and Bush administration narrative about EFP's in Iraq. In Iraq, however, they've now admitted that Iraqis can make EFP's in very basic manufacturies but claim that Iraqi-made ones aren't as dangerous as Iranian ones (although how they tell them apart is also problemmatic).
But the senior spokeswoman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), US Lieutenant Colonel Claudia Foss, stressed that the alliance had no evidence that the Iranian government was involved in the supply.
Kelly said four of the devices, which are also being used by Iraqi insurgents and Lebanon's Hezbollah, were found in Herat near the Iranian border and in Kabul, where a fifth device had harmlessly exploded early this year.
The colonel told a Kabul media briefing that the bombs were "something called explosively-formed projectiles (EFPs)... They're designed to penetrate armoured vehicles.
"These are very sophisticated IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and they're really not manufactured in any other places other than, our knowledge is, Iran," he said, adding that the explosives were factory-made.
Taliban insurgents commonly attack US-led, NATO and Afghan targets with roadside bombs and other explosives made from old ammunition such as mortars and rockets left over from the war-torn country's decades of conflicts.
"The insurgents may have access to this device but may not yet know how to use them or know if they're effective or not," Kelly said.
Foss, however, told the same briefing that ISAF's commander had previously said "that we have no evidence of any formal supply of weapons from Iran."
"For decades this country has been under attack and we find weapons all the time but, as far as any formal supply, there's been no evidence."
?Cunningham stated that, by 2000, he had already been receiving numerous benefits from Wilkes that included such things as vacation trips, liquor, cash/maintenance money . According to Cunningham, in return for these benefits, he had been helping Wilkes/ADCS in their efforts to secure government contracts.?
According to the FBI summary, Cunningham admits to being provided with prostitutes, misleading congressional ethics officials, making others buy gifts for his daughters, personally devising the schemes to launder his bribes, lying to his staff, and putting unrelenting pressure on government officials who thought the defense contracts he pushed with congressional earmarks were wasteful.
About those prostitutes, since there is so much in the news lately about Republican members of Congress and prostitutes, Cunningham said "Wilkes hired prostitutes for him during a Hawaii vacation. Cunningham was miffed that Wilkes got the 'younger and cuter' prostitute and said he was 'somewhat embarrassed on this occasion because he had some difficulty in completing intercourse.'" Perhaps Cunningham should have consulted Robert Dole, an expert in erectile dysfunction in old Republicans. But he didn't and "on the next night, Cunningham again had a prostitute but said he 'did not have sex' with her 'because he felt guilty about his behavior.'" Looks like not all Republicans are the same; David Vitter didn't feel guilty until he was caught. Although Vitter's and Lieberman's diaper fetish might not be the same as actuaal "sex" that normal people perform.
Cunningham was well placed steer military intelligence contracts toWilkes and Wade because he was on the House defense appropriations subcommitteeand the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
He also told investigators he demanded regular cash payments-- he called them ?maintenance money?-- once even summoning one of his bribers to his office at the U.S. Capitol to give him $3,000 in cash.
*More than $1 million in bribes were laundered by being sent to Kontogiannis instead of going directly to Cunningham. Investigators identified at least 70 separate bank accounts maintained by Kontogiannis at only one bank.
*Despite all his many businesses, Kontogiannis has not filed a tax return since 2001.
*For the first time, investigators shed light on what Kontogiannis expected to get from Cunningham-? help on a potential sale of fighter jets to his native Greece. [Note: Is the FBI cooperating in a cover-up that would implicate Bush in the pardon scheme?]
*The Rolls Royce that drew so much attention early in the investigation was not the only car that Cunningham made the contractors buy for him. In only two days in early 2002, the congressman bought a $43,000 Thunderbird and a $41,000 BMW from Bob Baker Ford in San Diego with $63,000 of his payment coming from bribes. That was three months before Wade gave him $10,000 toward the used Rolls Royce.
*In mid-2004 when Cunningham needed to make repairs to his boat, he called Wade and demanded $6,500 cash. Wade took the money out of his petty cash, stuffed the cash into a bulging envelope and rushed it over to a Cunningham fundraiser at a Washington restaurant, giving it to a Cunningham staffer.
*Openly ?recalled exerting pressure on government officials? to reward his bribers.
*Said Wilkes told him he was ?hiding money in a bank account in Panama? to pay him bribes.
*Made either Wilkes or Wade pay his way to the 2003 Super Bowl, Jimmy Buffet concerts in Chula Vista, and several Washington Wizards and Redskins games.