September 1, 2003
Genocide -- the ultimate in state criminal activity -- is an abomination
that should never, never, never recur.
The holocaust was genocide committed by the German state against the Jews but encompassed many other groups it despised, including Communists, labor leaders, political opponents, homosexuals, Gypsies and Slavic prisoners of war. Jews made up a substantial number of those who were exterminated. Accordingly, it is most appropriate that there be holocaust museums in Germany, the state that perpetrated the crime, and in Israel, the Jewish state, a fitting representative of the Jewish victims.
Hitler's initial intention was to make the Reich Judenfrei -- free of Jews.
Those Jews who could find a haven in another country were able to emigrate. Unfortunately there were no countries that were willing to open their doors to accept those desperate Jews. Each and every one of those countries was well aware of the plight of those Jews and knew of the atrocities perpetrated on innocent victims. Each and every one of them was an accomplice to the genocide that resulted.
Surprisingly, the Zionists were in agreement with the anti-Semites. They felt Jews did not belong in any country other than the one that they, the Zionists, would eventually create and thus Zionists received special treatment by the Nazis. Only one flag besides the swastika was permitted in Germany, the Zionist Star of David! The Zionists negotiated an agreement with the Nazis, 'The Transfer Agreement,' that permitted Jews for proper considerations to emigrate to Palestine.
Palestine was one of the Arab countries that had been double-crossed by the British. The Arabs had been promised freedom from Ottoman rule if they joined the Allies against the Turks in the First World War. But the winning WWI coalition that created and controlled the League of Nations awarded those Arab countries to the British and French who under the impressive appellation Mandate turned them into colonies.
During WWI Lord Balfour of Britain assured the Zionists that Jews would have a home available to them in Palestine. This occurred before Palestine was free from the Turks and when they had promised the Arabs their freedom. While the British were willing to have Jews emigrate to their colony in Palestine they refused them entry into Britain. The generous Lord Balfour was himself extremely opposed to Jewish immigration into Britain!
Jews lived in harmony amongst the Palestinians well before the Zionists started entering the country. Immigrants generally accept and abide by the laws and customs of their host countries. The Zionists, however, did not follow those practices in Palestine. They did not integrate into the country but antagonized the existing society. Accordingly, the Arabs rebelled strenuously and their British masters, to avoid confrontations, limited further immigration of Jews.
It is ironic indeed that as members of the United Nations, the very nations that were accomplices of the Holocaust by their refusal to accept the imperiled Jews, created a new state for the survivors and their Zionist hosts in Palestine -- a country that had absorbed a far greater proportion of Jews based on its size and population than any other country.
It is doubly ironic that the United Nations, an organization that should be protecting the sovereignty of nations, brazenly carved up an existing state to create a new one.
The German people to their credit have acknowledged the atrocities that the Nazi regime inflicted on innocent victims. Because of the pressures exerted on it by world opinion it has come forward to admit its guilt. It maintains museums as well as concentration camps to exhibit to the world the horrors that took place; it has granted reparations to the victims and its surrogate, the state of Israel; it has rebuilt and restored synagogues; and welcomed many of the surviving victims.
Israel, the representative of the Nazi victims, has shamefully taken a contrary tack. In its relations with the Palestinians it has violated international laws again and again, and has completely ignored dozens of United Nations resolutions issued against it. While it insists that genocide should 'NEVER AGAIN' occur, it emulates Hitler's desire for a Judenfrei Europe with its current aspirations to transfer the Palestinians from the country.
There are probably over 100 Holocaust Museums in the United States. The U.S. was neither a perpetrator nor a victim. Why then are there so many holocaust museums, including a major one in Washington D.C.? Many significant American historical events are not accorded such importance.
The United States, like other nations around the world, was involved in the holocaust peripherally. It had the opportunity to rescue millions of its victims but it disgracefully ignored the cries of the victims. Do those numerous museums show the U.S. complicity in the crime?
The United States harshly criticizes those it dislikes. It constantly finger-points at the crimes and transgressions of others. Yet it has often engaged in those same practices.
The knowledgeable are aware that Uncle Sam has committed numerous crimes that caused death, destruction, excruciating pain and suffering to peoples all over the world. In several instances he was complicit in genocide.
Long before the word genocide was added to the language, the very first, the granddaddy of all, and the longest-running genocide -- lasting from colonial times to the present day -- was committed against the Native Americans. It exterminated numerically more Indians; men, women and children, and a greater proportion of them than the Germans did of the Jews. A population that exceeded twelve million when Columbus arrived was reduced to less than a quarter of a million four centuries later.
Germany has admitted its guilt and compensated the victims. Shouldn't the United States duplicate the actions of Germany?
The American genocide gets no publicity whatsoever and its survivors are constantly victimized by the state. Why. . .why. . .why . . . aren't there 100 Native American genocide museums? This is American history. It belongs in America.
To conquer the continent it was essential that the indigenous peoples be 'ethnically cleansed' from the land. Land was ceaselessly gobbled up in battle after battle. Negotiations after each produced treaties that promised the defeated tribes peace and other considerations. But those treaties were constantly violated because of the insatiable hunger for more land.
In all wars, from colonial times until the end of the nineteenth century, the enemy is characterized as a sub-human beast. It was open season on 'Injuns' -- men, women and children. Their scalps could earn a mass murderer five bucks each. If some supposedly hostile group was captured, a homicidal orgy might ensue where the most ghastly tortures were inflicted, women and children included.
Battles repeatedly erupted until the entire country between the oceans had been subdued.
Peace treaties often granted the surviving Indians unwanted land onto which they were herded. These 'reservations' were actually misnamed prison camps that Hitler copied and designated 'concentration camps.' The reservations succeeded in separating the Indians from the settlers, but they were taken from their normal habitat and placed in a location unknown to them and with inferior soil. Thus they became dependant upon the government for handouts to survive.
Lands that had been ceded to the Indians contained oil and minerals. Without their consent those lands were transferred to a government bureau to manage as a trustee. The trustee leased the lands often at scandalously low rents, misappropriated funds, and lost or failed to maintain records. The criminal malfeasance of the trustees was known for over a century. Yet no effort has been made to correct the problems. The Indians have been deprived of billions and billions of dollars. The value of their lands and the moneys owed them by the government should make them the wealthiest ethnic group in America, but ironically and tragically their income ranks them as the poorest.
The Indians were depicted as brutal savages. The government decided to civilize them by inculcating them with the knowledge and culture of the white man. This has led to many pernicious practices against the Indians.
Indian children have been forcibly taken from their families and placed in schools that severely punish those who practice their native language, music, culture, etc. Their religious observances have been outlawed. These unconscionable restrictions continued well into the latter part of the twentieth century and in some instances may still be present. What despicable education system would attempt to turn children against their worthy cultural heritage?
Genocide is defined as acts committed to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Since a group's culture is what distinguishes, defines, and characterizes it, the destruction of that culture is in itself a genocidal act. Perhaps that is why the United States after forty years could do no more than give the U.N. Convention of Genocide a conditional ratification; in effect, rejecting it. Most nations ratified it shortly after its enactment.
The culture of the Native American, and the culture of many third world nations, is to be admired and emulated. Benjamin Franklin pressed the constitutional architects to be guided by the design of the Iroquois Confederacy. Jefferson admired the freedom and democracy that was achieved so effectively by the Indians.
The Indians loved nature -- the earth, the sky, the water. They loved and revered all living things and accorded them the same rights as they enjoyed. This was quite different from the white man's culture that believed man was superior to the earth and the other living things and that man was to tame, control and exploit them.
The white man's culture has polluted the air, water and earth, eradicated species, destroyed rain forests, and is making the earth inhospitable. Had the culture of the 'savages' been adopted instead we'd be living in a pristine environment. The arrogance and ignorance of the white man has produced dire consequences.
Racism still exists in the supposedly advanced society of the United States. It relegates the Native Americans to bottom or near bottom in their rates of poverty, suicide, longevity, crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, and possibly any other condition one could think of.
Hey, Uncle Sam! How come the Germans can make restitution for the crimes of the Nazi regime and treat the former victims with dignity but you can't faithfully fulfill your obligations to the Native Americans and you continue to mistreat them? It is time to acknowledge these crimes. Why don't you erect and maintain some genocide museums -- and let the Native Americans, who are more knowledgeable of the atrocities that were inflicted on their ancestors and themselves, manage them?
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America the 'beautiful' on Swans
Philip Greenspan on Swans (with bio).
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