cj#603> “The only good Injun is a dead Injun” still

1996-11-12

Richard Moore

Dear cj,

       We all know that Native Americans were systematically killed off in
order to make way for the "white man".  The demonization of the red man --
portraying him as a heathen savage -- was the propaganda component of this
genocide campaign.  As recently as the 1950s, American films continued to
embody this race-hatred perspective -- Indians were universally portrayed
as whooping, drunken, savages, intent only on killing innocent pioneers.

        Audiences still cheered in the 50s whenever another redskin bit the
dust, and when the cavalry rode in to finish them off in the last reel.
"The only good Injun is a dead Injun" was an oft-repeated slogan, familiar
to generations of children whose favorite outdoor game was "Cowboys and
Indians".

        Now we have films like "Dancing With Wolves", and we all feel we're
so much more humane now, so much more sympathetic to noble savages -- all
that nasty business was of a long-gone age.

        The fact is that there are places in Central America and Brazil,
for example, where men are still hired to go out with rifles and shoot all
the natives in whatever area is next slated for development, for
agribusines or whatever.  In the U.S., the government used to pay $2 for
each Indian scalp (little ones accepted as well) that was brought in, and
people who might otherwise be hunting animals for sport would track down
and kill Indian families instead, and get a little extra cash in the
bargain.

        What it's all about is simply land-use patterns.  Any group of
people who live self-sufficently on a bit of land are an intrusion on
capitalist development -- they are wasting valuable land.  One of the
frequent scenarios of Westward Expansion was the following.  A land
speculator would gain title to a tract of Indian land, and then resell it
to a large number of would-be pioneers, at a great profit.  Eventually the
Army would come in to clear off the natives, while the speculator would be
repeating the scenario a few miles further west.

        NAFTA, in its effect on rural Mexico, is in fact a modern version
of this same phenomenon.  In order for NAFTA to be approved by the U.S., a
key demand was that Mexico renounce its own Constitution, which guaranteed
that tracts of land be reserved for native use.  NAFTA serves as a
"land-use-license", and American agribusiness now sees itself as entitled
to buy up and develop native lands.

        That is what the Chiapas uprising is all about, and this time it's
the Mexican army who's got the job of clearing the land for these modern,
large-scale U.S. land developers.  The practice of killing off the natives,
clearing the land for capital development, has in fact continued right up
to the present day -- the frontier is simply further away, and not the
subject of popular Western-Romance mythology -- so we don't notice it.

        Now that the entire globe is being brought under a neoliberal
Corporatist Order, one must notice that Black Africa stands out as a huge
tract of fertile land that is being wasted by primitive usage patterns.
Some is occupied by subsistence-economy natives, and some is even given
over to be roamed by wild animals! (remember the Amerian Buffalo?)  What a
waste, in the eyes of the global bankers.

        Each region of the world is being assaulted by the corporatist New
World Order in a customized way.  In the First World, downsizing,
privatization, "free trade", and deregulation are dismantling democratic
institutions so that later phases of corporate feudalism can be implemented
more readily.  In the former Soviet sphere, massive destabilization is
being employed to reduce the societies to rubble, so that the whole region
can become a zone for unrestricted capital development.  In most of the
Third World, IMF policies are systematically tightening the noose of
capital exploitation around the necks of whole populations.

        Each region of the world is being systematically pushed in the
direction of greater capital expliotability, the particular policies being
tailored to the special circumstances in each case.  In Africa, the
all-to-obvious policy of choice would be to kill off the natives, so that
their land can be developed.  This policy has been used frequently in the
past (in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in the Americas), and has
been found to be effective and profitable.

        And in fact, recent Western actions in Africa could hardly be
better designed, if the goal is in fact is too kill off the population as
rapidly as possible.  As usual, Western policies are portrayed as bungling
in the media, ill-planned and ill-executed, with the human suffering being
an unfortunate accident.  From time to time one must at least entertain the
notion that perhaps policies just might sometimes be designed to achieve
the consequences that actually occur.

        Following are two pieces on this topic.  One was sent to me, and
the other is something I sent recently to Nikolai Rozov, moderator of the
Philosophy of History list.

-rkm


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Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996
To: •••@••.••• (Richard K. Moore)
From: •••@••.••• (Elias Davidsson)

Reflections regarding US foreign policy

by Elias Davidsson, Iceland
11 November 1996

Could it be that one of the pillars of US foreign policy is to reduce by
all means possible the number of inhabitants of the third world while
keeping those surviving in a situation of poverty ?

This question occurred to me as I reflected upon a pattern of US foreign
policy positions taken in the last 20-30 years, after hearing about the US
hesitation in heeding international appeals to provide humanitarian
protection to the threatened populations in Zaire.

Here are just a few items filling this pattern, jotted down from memory.

1.      The Vietnam war (no comment necesary)

2.      The covert support of the US to the maintainance of the ten-year
war between Iran and Iraq, presumably to weaken both regimes and nations
and cause the death of over a million persons.

3.      Official encouragement of population reducation schemes in third
world countries (free contraceptives, sterilization schemes, grants, etc.)

4. Eagerness in conducting massive military interventions in cases where
opportunities for massive killing of third world inhabitants and subjection
of whole nations avail themselves.  The Gulf war, as a typical example, was
conducted in such a way as to minimize allied casualties and maximize Iraqi
casualties (the ratio beeing 1:1000), and to permit the physical
destruction of Iraq's economic infrastructure.

5. Loathfullness to use existing military potential to protect civilians
populations of third world countries from crimes against humanity and acts
of genocide, including acts committed in Kurdistan, Cambodia, Rwanda and
Zaire, in which no US strategic interests were involved, 'only' the killing
of millions of 'worthless' people.

6.      Use of economic sanctions against vulnerable third world countries,
aiming at preventing their emancipation and development, by emaciating and
improvershing the people,  causing the departure of the educated elite from
these countries, causing increased child death, malnutrition and diseases
and hampering the intellectual and scientific development of these
countries.

Although no official documents are publicly available that prove the
wilfull intention by the US elite to reduce the population of the third
world and keep it impoverished, including by outright force, the above
pattern nevertheless suggests a consistent pro-active government policy,
which transcends specific events. Such a policy would amount to the Crime
of Genocide, as defined in international law. But even if no such
overriding policy exists, the above specific acts and policies undertaken
by the US government are in the very least unethical and in some cases
outright criminal.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Elias Davidsson - Oldugata 50 - 101 Reykjavik - Iceland
Tel. (354)-552-6444     Fax: (354)-552-6579
Email: •••@••.•••     URL:  http://www.nyherji.is/~edavid
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Dear Nikolai,

>>         Central Africa is being intentionally destabilized by the West, for
>> the purpose of genocide -- the scenario of the American Indians being
>> replayed.
>
>it is a serious blame which must be supplied with serious factual arguments.

        To fully develop this charge, an article-sized piece would be
necessary, supported by some additional research.  In the meantime, I'll
give you some outline arguments and determine where our points of agreement
and disagreement lie.

        First of all, there are the objective facts: The West sells
excessive arms to all sides in Africa; intelligence operatives have been
active throughout Africa for years; the overall effect of aid programs and
UN activity has always been to exacerbate conflicts; many of the conflicts
(Angola being a classic example) were clearly stirred up by Western
intelligence agencies.

        You can take the position, and this is of course encouraged by
media propaganda, that Western actions in Africa are simply incompetent and
insufficient, but I don't subscribe to that theory, nor do I believe it can
be supported.

        In The Guardian Weekly of November 3, there is a lead story
entitiled "Chaos envelops Central Africa".  I quote:

        "...In 1994, Zaire' now ailing president, Mobutu Sese Seko, gave a
home to more than a million Rwandan Hutu refugees as a lever to destabilise
the new Tutsi-dominated government in Rwanda.  Sheltering the refugees won
him favour among former friends, such as France and the United States,
which quietly dropped pressure for Mobutu to surrender power.

        "Through the UN, the West fed and watered the hordes in the camps,
and the world assuaged its guilt at ignoring the Hutu-inspired slaughter by
pouring in massive aid.  But this helped to ensure the surival of the
Interahamwe militias, which had led the killing of Tutsis.  The UN turned a
blind eye not only to the past crimes of these mass killers, but their
efforts to perpetuate the slaughter.

        "Mobutu now lies sick in a Swiss hospital, and doubts whether he
will survive his prostate cancer are increasing the chaos in his rudderless
nation.  Meanwhile the UN is pleading for an end to the suffering of Hutu
refugees, after standing by as those same refugees slaughtered thousands of
Zaierean Tutsis and set the present crisis in motion.

        "Muller Ruihimbika, a Banya-mulenge, is scathing.  'For two years
we've been telling people -- diplomats and foreigners -- it was going to
explode.  They were laughing in our faces when we asked for help.  Now they
want to mediate.  Mediate what?'..."

        It is insufficient to simply observe that Western powers continue
to play real-politik games in Africa -- which they certainly do --  and
that mass killings are "collateral damage" from such games.  One must also
observe that the West has other means of influencing political arrangements
in Africa, and that the systematic facilitation of bloody inter-tribal wars
must be seen as representing a primary policy objective in its own right.

        The fact is that Black African populations have not been integrated
into the capitalist global system in any substantial way.  This fact can be
dramatically highlighted by contrasting African economies with those of
Southeast Asia, for example.  It seems apparent that elite capitalist
designs for Black Africa center on agribusiness.  Natives, both humans and
other mammals, are simply in the way.  That's what I mean by a replay of
the American Indian (and Bison) scenario.

~--<snip>--~

-rkm

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    Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
     Cyberlib:  www | ftp --> ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore/cyberlib
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