Saturday, September 13, 2014


Sent Blog, ws, indivs:
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace.
(#1 Jan. 12, 2013)

What’s at stake:  The westward sweep across the continent seemed to fulfill what many nineteenth-century US citizens believed was God's plan for the nation.  Informed, thoughtful people no longer believe in the extirpation of hundreds of native nations to have been “Manifest Destiny.”  We have increased in awareness and truth.  Yet the over forty invasions and interventions perpetrated by the leaders of the US since WWII were justified by similar delusory and deluding, arrogant claims, such as “US exceptionalism.”  Whether “Manifest Destiny” or “Exceptionalism” or “bringing Democracy to the world,” the words similarly disguise callous greed and power for permanent war.

My blog:  The War Department and Peace Heroes

(Also:  Go to US Imperialism Pacific/E. Asia Westward Movement, Encircling C hina Newsletter,, #1 May 8, 2012; #2 August 22, 2012; #3 Nov. 25, 2012; #4 Jan. 12, 2013; #5 March 27, 2013; #6 July 5, 2013; #7 August 12, 2013; #8 Nov. 8, 2013; #9 Jan. 2, 2014; #10 Feb. 3, 2014; #11 Feb. 26, 2014; #12 April 21, 2014; #13, June 26, 2014).
Contents Continental Westward Expansion (and South and North) #2
Dick, Charles Mann, Decimation of Indian Population, Westward Movement
Baker’s Review of Charles Mann, 1491 (2011).
Latin America:  Dix and Fitzpatrick, Nicaragua. . .Photo/Testimonial Book (2013).
North American Indian Genocide: Google Search
Elizabeth Fenn, the Mandans
Hatch, Osceola and the Great Seminole War (2012)
Rutkow, American Canopy, History of US Forests
US Art for Empire: Art Glorifying Westward Conquest of Manifest Destiny:  Emanuel
Richard White, Railroads
From the Continent to the Pacific:  Japanese-Americans Interned During WWII, One Consequence (see US
      Imperialism Pacific/E. Asia Newsletters)
Winona La Duke’s Native Struggles for Land and Life, Reviewed by Mokhiber and
    Weissman, “Somebody Else’s Land.”
Vacy Vlazna, Australian and Israeli Genocidal Parallels

     One of the most powerful methods of US domination is information control, and one aspect of this control is the deliberate, systematic, untruthful  capturing of names: for example, “Defense” Department to replace the original and actual War Department.   Possessing immense influence—and projecting equally powerful arrogance--is the kidnapping of the word “America,” which properly denotes the Americas of North, Central, and Southern Western Hemisphere.  In 1491, Charles Mann writes:  “Probably the most accurate descriptor for the original inhabitants of the Americas is Americans” (xi).  Throughout his book, “America” refers to the Western Hemisphere, or “the Americas.”  A significant step toward peace by ending US imperial invasions and interventions around the world would be the replacement of the imperial name “America” by the accurate name for one part of North America--USA.
      Mann also provides additional clarification in at least two ways:   the large number of indigenous people in this hemisphere preceding Columbus and the catastrophic consequences of the European devastation.  
     Although “no definitive data exist,” and that data are disputed, there is some agreement that perhaps there were 40 million throughout the Western Hemisphere before Columbus and Cortez landed.   But within 150 years the population had plummeted in some areas possibly as much as 97%.   For example, the population of central Mexico dropped from an estimated “25.2 million in 1518, just before Cortes arrived,” to “about 700,000 in 1623” (p. 147).   (Mann does not use the terms “holocaust” or “genocide” to describe the European invasion of the Americas and subsequent carnage because those terms are reserved for the systematic, state-organized extermination of a people, such as the killing of European Jews.  This definition is disputed by those who want the words to refer to the size of the extermination, not the method.)
      The figures for North America are not so abysmal, because native population growth there had been limited by the mile-deep ice not so many years before, and it was still very cold in the fifteenth century in what is now called New England.  But “by 1610 Britain alone had about two hundred vessels operating off Newfoundland and New England,” and these travelers uniformly reported “that New England was thickly settled.”   The pattern of European invasion of North America was similar to the pillage and decimation of South America.   In 1619, Thomas Dermer landed in Maine and discovered an empty coast from southern Maine to Narragansett Bay, “a cemetery two hundred miles long and forty miles deep.”     Some captive French sailors had transmitted apparently hepatitis A, which killed “as much as 90 percent of the people in coastal New England” (62).  To the Pilgrims “the good hand of God” had “swept away great multitudes of the natives. . .that he might make room for us”  (63).  When the Mayflower Europeans landed in 1620 first at Cape Cod, they ransacked a deserted Indian village and stole stored maize, which they carried back to the ship in a stolen metal kettle, while praising “God’s good providence” they had found the corn (58).     In 1633 a smallpox epidemic crushed the Narragansett.  Thousands of Indians were enslaved:  By the eve of the colonial revolution, “a third of the native people in Rhode Island were enslaved.”  English colonists continued to arrive.
     The New England Indians, the “people of the First Light,” were defeated, killed, and dispersed.  They “could avoid or adapt to European technology but not European disease.” (70).   And with the improvement of arms during the next two centuries, the US Westward Movement truly became “Manifest Destiny,” and continues to this day.  

'1491': Vanished Americans

Review By Kevin Baker, October 9, 2005
MOST of us know, or think we know, what the first Europeans encountered when they began their formal invasion of the Americas in 1492: a pristine world of overwhelming natural abundance and precious few people; a hemisphere where - save perhaps for the Aztec and Mayan civilizations of Central America and the Incan state in Peru - human beings indeed trod lightly upon the earth. Small wonder that, right up to the present day, American Indians have usually been presented as either underachieving metahippies, tree-hugging saints or some combination of the two.
Courtesy Gabriel González Maury/From ''1491''
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.
By Charles C. Mann. Illustrated. 462 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. 2011.

First Chapter: '1491' (October 9, 2005)


Forum: Book News and Reviews

The trouble with all such stereotypes, as Charles C. Mann points out in his marvelous new book, "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus," is that they are essentially dehumanizing. For cultural reasons of their own, Europeans and white Americans have "implicitly depicted Indians as people who never changed their environment from its original wild state. Because history is change, they were people without history."
Mann, a science journalist and co-author of four previous books on subjects ranging from aspirin to physics to the Internet, provides an important corrective - a sweeping portrait of human life in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus. This would be a formidable task under any circumstance, and it is complicated by the fact that so much of the deep American past is embroiled in vituperative political and scientific controversies.
Nearly everything about the Indians is currently a matter of contention. There is little or no agreement about when their ancestors first came to the Americas and where they came from; how many there were, how and where they lived and why they were not more effective in resisting the European invasion. New archaeological discoveries and interpretations of Indian materials are constantly altering the historical record, and every debate comes equipped with its own bevy of archaeologists, anthropologists and other social scientists tossing around personal invective with the abandon of Rudy Giuliani on a bad day.
Mann navigates adroitly through the controversies. He approaches each in the best scientific tradition, carefully sifting the evidence, never jumping to hasty conclusions, giving everyone a fair hearing - the experts and the amateurs; the accounts of the Indians and their conquerors. And rarely is he less than enthralling. A remarkably engaging writer, he lucidly explains the significance of everything from haplogroups to glottochronology to landraces. He offers amusing asides to some of his adventures across the hemisphere during the course of his research, but unlike so many contemporary journalists, he never lets his personal experiences overwhelm his subject.
Instead, Mann builds his story around what we want to know - the "Frequently Asked Questions," as he heads one chapter. He moves nimbly back and forth from the earliest prehistoric humans in the Americas to the Pilgrims' first encounter with the Indian they (mistakenly) called "Squanto"; from the villages of the Amazon rain forests to Cahokia, near modern St. Louis, the sole, long-vanished city of the North American Mound Builders; from the cultivation of maize to why it was that the Incas apparently developed the wheel but never used it as anything but a child's toy.
Mann remains resolutely agnostic on some of the fiercest debates. What he is most interested in showing us is how American Indians - like all other human beings - were intensely involved in shaping the world they lived in. He is sure that "many though not all Indians were superbly active land managers - they did not live lightly on the land." Just how they did live, so long uninfluenced by the vast majority of the world's population in Africa and Eurasia, forms the bulk of his fascinating narrative.
What emerges is an epic story, with a subtly altered tragedy at its heart. For all the European depredations in the Americas, the work of conquest was largely accomplished for them by their microbes, even before the white men arrived in any great numbers. The diseases brought along by the very first unwitting Spanish conquistadors, and probably by English fishermen working the New England coast, very likely triggered one of the greatest catastrophes in human history. Before the 16th century, there may have been as many as 90 million to 112 million people living in the Americas - people who could be as different from each other "as Turks and Swedes," but who had cumulatively developed an incredible range of natural environments, from seeding the Amazon Basin with fruit trees to terracing the mountains of Peru. (Even the term "New World" may be a misnomer; it is possible that the world's first city was in South America.)
Then, disaster. According to some estimates, as much as 95 percent of the Indians may have died almost immediately on contact with various European diseases, particularly smallpox. That would have amounted to about one-fifth of the world's total population at the time, a level of destruction unequaled before or since. The exact numbers, like everything else, are in dispute, but it is clear that these plagues wreaked havoc on traditional Indian societies. European misreadings of America should not be attributed wholly to ethnic arrogance. The "savages" most of the colonists saw, without ever realizing it, were usually the traumatized, destitute survivors of ancient and intricate civilizations that had collapsed almost overnight. Even the superabundant "nature" the Europeans inherited had been largely put in place by these now absent gardeners, and had run wild only after they had ceased to cull and harvest it.
In the end, the loss to us all was incalculable. As Mann writes, "Having grown separately for millennia, the Americas were a boundless sea of novel ideas, dreams, stories, philosophies, religions, moralities, discoveries and all the other products of the mind. Few things are more sublime or characteristically human than the cross-fertilization of cultures. The simple discovery by Europe of the existence of the Americas caused an intellectual ferment. How much grander would have been the tumult if Indian societies had survived in full splendor!"
Kevin Baker is the author of the forthcoming historical novel "Strivers Row."

·         Welcome
·         Table of Contents
·         Photographs
·         Video
·         Introduction
·         About Project
·         Book Orders
·         Links
·         Reviews
·         Contact

Order Book   
(Mature audiences only. Contains images of people wounded in war.)

DENNIS RIVERS, WEBSITE MANAGERinShareShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon


What’s at stake:  WHO TELLS THE STORY?
“. . .the dominant interpretation of the past often enjoys its status not because of its superior historical accuracy but because of its proponents’ social power.”  Karl Jacoby, Shadows at Dawn: An Apache Massacre and the Violence of History (p. 276). 


1.   American Indian Holocaust - United Native America
Smallpox Native American Plains Indian Genocide Pictures. line. The Effects of Removal on American Indian Tribes, Native Americans and the Land. line ...

2.   Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide? - History News ...
Jan 22, 2007 – It is a firmly established fact that a mere 250,000 native Americans ...True, the forced relocations of Indian tribes were often accompanied by ...

3.   Native American Genocide - Wicocomico Indian Nation
NATIVE AMERICAN GENOCIDE. TRAIL OF DEATH: after years of researching the Wicocomico Nation, it has led me to various other sources of study ...

4.   Native Americans in the United States - Wikipedia, the free ...
American Indian and Alaska Native (2010 Census Bureau) ... They are composed of numerous, distinct Native American tribes and ethnic groups, many ..... from Europe;genocide and warfare at the hands of European explorers and colonists, ...

5.   New Documentary Tracks Cultural Genocide of American Indians
Nov 23, 2011 – From 1879 until the 1960s, more than 100,000 American Indian ...cruelty and beatings, all intended to strip them of their Native identity and culture. ... In 1999, the state of Maine, in collaboration with the Wabanaki tribes, set ...

"By 'genocide' we mean the destruction of a nation or an ethnic group. .... As long as the American Indians lived in close proximity to non-Native American ...

7.   Indian Country Diaries . History . Assimilation, Relocation, Genocide ...
Since first contact, Native Americans have been given three choices — which ... The government push to assimilate native tribes continued through the 1950s ...

8.   Indian Country Diaries . History . California Genocide | PBS
Population estimates range as high as 300,000 American Indians speaking 80 ... In California, the genocide of Native tribes was done in the name of the church.

9.   Thanksgiving: Celebrating the Genocide of Native Americans ...
Nov 25, 2010 – This grim reality is far removed from the fairytale version of a nation that views ... massacre of thousands of Pequot Indian men, women and children. This event marked the start of the Native American genocide which would ...

10.                Native American Genocide Still Haunts U.S.
Still, what we mustn't forget is that mass killing of Native Americans occurred in our own   was an important cause of the decline for many .  "Removal" policy was put into action to clear the land for white settlers.

Against the Grain
Elizabeth Fenn, the Mandans and a renaissance in historical writing.
Mandans gathering buffalo berries, 1908. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis
Encounters at the Heart of the World
A History of the Mandan People.
By Elizabeth A. Fenn.
Buy this book
. . . Elizabeth Fenn’s Encounters at the Heart of the World is part of a small renascence in historical writing. Some of the most interesting of these new counternarratives—most of them written by women—move purposefully against the grain of popular history, much of which seems to be consumed by men. These historians also seek a popular audience, but they are uninterested in attracting readers with the usual bait. They write about unusual and uncommon topics. They juxtapose people, places and events not usually considered together, but whose pairing seems obvious once it is made. They certainly do not claim omniscience. Their histories are often tentative; they are persuasive because they acknowledge the limits of evidence, while displaying a kind of virtuosity in their ability to work from fragments. The authors often insert themselves into the narratives, so that the reader gets a sense of how the history has been fashioned.
But for all their presence in the text, the history is never about the historians. They are as interested in finding different ways to tell a story as they are wary of claiming too much certainty. The authors I’m thinking of have hit their stride, having already published more than one book. The best-known and most prolific of their number, Jill Lepore, has written most recently not about Benjamin Franklin but his sister Jane. In her book Plutopia, Kate Brown juxtaposes the towns of Richland, Washington, and Ozersk, Russia—an obvious coupling, once it is made, of the places that produced plutonium in the United States and the Soviet Union. Conevery Bolton Valencius writes not about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, but the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812. And Fenn, in Encounters at the Heart of the World, offers a history of the Mandan Indians, who usually merit only a footnote in the standard historical narratives.
Americans know the Mandans, if they know them at all, as the people who hosted Lewis and Clark during the first winter of their famous journey of exploration. By then, Mandan villages had been at the center of life on the northern Great Plains for roughly three centuries. Fenn traces them back even further in order to explore a millennium of North American history. The Mandans did not dominate this history; they were not conquerors. They were farmers and quite peculiar traders. By and large, they did not travel. Instead, they waited for the world to come to them.
The past is a crowded place, and any historian has to answer two basic questions: Why tell this particular story, out of all possible stories about the past? And why tell it in this particular way? Fenn is explicit, if brief, about the first. She goes to North Dakota, the middle of the Mandan world, for a very old American reason: she thinks something is missing from contemporary American life, and she believes the Indians know what it is. She has sensed that “the Mandan story provided an alternative view of American life both before and after the arrival of Europeans.” Her musings have the whiff of the spiritual seeker, and insofar as this is the case, it is a problematic reason to come to Indians, although hardly an uncommon one.
But Fenn avoids most of the traps of a pilgrimage to the Indians because she is such a good historian and storyteller. What she wants to do is use the Mandans to frame a narrative that does not turn American history into the foreordained progression of “Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way.” She wants to destabilize the American narrative in terms of origins, in terms of time—it does not begin in 1492—as well as space: it does not radiate out from Jamestown, or Plymouth, or even St. Augustine. She wants to avoid a Whiggish view of history, which is ultimately a story of the inevitability of the present. She wants to restore possibilities that the past contains by returning to a time when the present seemed far from inevitable. This is a book full of guns, germs and steel, but it is in many ways the opposite of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. The story Fenn tells, one of many potential stories, centers on the confluence of the Heart and the Missouri rivers. There, the Mandans rise; the Mandans fall; the Mandans persevere. How they did so tells much about the intricacies of the continent’s history as well as the Mandans’.
The writings of explorers, traders, archaeologists and government officials account for most of Fenn’s sources, but she wants to take her stance not with them as they “discover” the Mandans, but rather with the Mandans themselves. Fenn is neither a Mandan nor, despite her book’s epilogue with its ambiguous “we,” does she pretend to be. Instead, she takes her stance in Mandan country, the heart of the world.
She has written a profoundly spatial history rooted in a place made by the Mandans and their neighbors, the Hidatsas and Arikaras. In Mandan stories, when Lone Man encounters First Creator, the latter proclaims that the Heart River is “the heart—the center of the world.” And it nearly is, at least if the world is confined to North America. The confluence of the Heart and the Missouri, just west of the hundredth meridian, is 120 miles southwest of Rugby, North Dakota, which is the geographical midpoint of North America. Today, it is a different kind of center: the focus of the Northern Plains shale-oil boom.
* * *
The book begins not with the Mandans coming to their homeland, but rather with Fenn arriving in August 2002 at the Fort Berthold Reservation, where the Mandans, Arikaras and Hidatsas form the Three Affiliated Tribes. She has gone there “just to see if it felt right.” In the narrative, Fenn’s journeys within Mandan country become the spatial equivalent of the Mandans’ journey through time. Together, they form the book’s warp and weft.
Once the Mandans reached the Heart River around 1500, they remained largely in place, moving relatively short distances up and down the Missouri between the Heart and Knife rivers.  . . .  MORE

Top of Form
Top of Form
A Struggle for Justice and Freedom
Thom HatchSt. Martin's Press
Email Print
Thom Hatch Osceola and the Great Seminole War

At the time of his death in 1838, Seminole warrior Osceola was the most famous and respected Native American in the world. Born a Creek, young Osceola was driven from his home by General Andrew Jackson to Spanish Florida, where he joined the Seminole tribe. Years later, President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which was not only intended to relocate the Seminoles to hostile lands in the West but would force the return of runaway slaves who had joined that tribe. Osceola—outraged at the potential loss of his people and homeland—did not hesitate to declare war on the United States.

Osceola and the Great Seminole War vividly recounts how one warrior with courage and cunning unequaled by any Native American leader before or after would mastermind battle strategies that would embarrass the best officers in the United States Army. Employing daring guerilla tactics, Osceola initiated and orchestrated the longest, most expensive, and deadliest war ever fought by the United States against Native Americans. With each victory by his outnumbered and undersupplied warriors, Osceola’s reputation grew among his people and captured the imagination of the citizens of the United States. At the time, many cheered his quixotic quest for justice and freedom, and since then many more have considered his betrayal on the battlefield to be one the darkest hours in U.S. Army history.

Insightful, meticulously researched, and thrillingly told, award-winning author Thom Hatch’s account
Jump to:
The Creek Refugees
Nine-year-old Billy Powell, the boy who would grow up to become the warrior Osceola, watched as his whole world went up in flames.
Billy was in the company of his mother and dozens of other members of the Creek tribe—mostly women, children, and old men—who crouched in the dense underbrush where they had fled from their homes. One by one they cautiously raised their heads to view great plumes of charcoal smoke furiously billowing upward into the distant sky. This fear-inspiring sight indicated that countless fires were raging in the direction
Praise for Osceola and the Great Seminole War
Praise for Osceola and the Great Seminole War

“It’s a fascinating history, touching on the complex relationships among white, black, and Native Americans in the contested territory we now know as Florida... Hatch’s meticulous research is evident in his depiction of Seminole village life and his detailed descriptions of conferences and battles.”
--Boston Globe

“Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Crazy Horse are well known to every schoolchild. Hatch deftly brings Osceola to the pantheon of legendary Native American leaders.”
--Kirkus Reviews

“Engaging, well-researched… This important book adds to our understanding of the shameful mistreatment of Native Americans and their resistance.”
--Publishers Weekly

“The Seminole tribe of Florida had an origin as complex and tragic as the history of race in America. The Creek Indians of Alabama, escaped black slaves, and Muskogee-speaking natives of Florida together made up the tribe which took its name from the Spanish word for ‘fugitives’ or ‘wild men’. They were united by a fierce independence and were led by a man of great natural gifts—named Billy Powell at birth, and known to history as Osceola—as varied in his background as the tribe he led. His story, stirring and sad in equal measure, is now told by Thom Hatch in this new history of the Seminole ordeal.”
—Thomas Powers, Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner and National Book Critics Circle finalist for The Killing of Crazy Horse

“With admirable scholarship and fresh and exciting detail, Thom
In the Press
OSCEOLA AND THE GREAT SEMINOLE WAR by Thom Hatch | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of OSCEOLA AND THE GREAT SEMINOLE WAR A Struggle for Justice and Freedom. Plains Indians expert Hatch (Encyclopedia of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution, 2007, etc.) applies his expertise to the man who led the Florida war "that would frustrate and embarrass the best officers in the United States Army--including five generals."
- Kirkus Reviews
Reviews from Goodreads
THOM HATCH is an award-winning author and historian who specializes in the American West, the Civil War, and Native American conflicts.

AMERICAN CANOPY: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow

KIRKUS REVIEW Pub Date: April 17th, 2012
An appreciation of how much American history was shaped and defined by trees.
From the earliest “plantations,” as colonial settlements were known in the 17th century, to our understanding of today’s climate change, forests have been a driving force in both national development and consciousness, writes Rutkow in this impressive survey. Although the book suffers from a lack of material on the Native American experience with the forests, Rutkow is in command of a prodigious amount of material, which he carefully keeps in forward motion. The author unhurriedly wends his way from the “marketable commodities” of timber-trade–based colonization, through the political symbolism of the Liberty Trees and the Charter Oaks, to the rise of the ornamental-tree business and Benjamin Franklin’s efforts to catalog American trees. As he chronicles the importance of hard cider on the frontier (“the first great American drink”), the rise of the transcendentalists and the citrus industry, rail and telegraph, the denuding of the Lake States and the excitement generated by Arbor Day and Earth Day, Rutkow knits numerous vest-pocket biographies into the picture. These include both high- and low-profile actors, from Johnny Appleseed to Henry David Thoreau, Gifford Pinchot to Gaylord Nelson, William Levitt to Teddy Roosevelt, who helped fashion “an overarching philosophy that all natural resources ought to be managed with an eye to sustainability and efficient use.”
A meaty history of the American forest and a convincing testament to its continued political, cultural and environmental importance.
[Needed is a history which connects the westward assault on Native Americans and native forests.  –Dick]

Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (mural study, U.S. Capitol) 1861
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
Born: Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany 1816
Died: Washington, District of Columbia 1868
oil on canvas  33 1/4 x 43 3/8 in. (84.5 x 110.1 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Leutze's mural study for the Capitol in Washington celebrated the idea of Manifest Destiny just when the Civil War threatened the republic. The surging crowd of figures records the births, deaths, and battles fought as European Americans settled the continent to the edge of the Pacific. Like Moses and the Israelites who appear in the ornate borders of the painting, these pioneers stand at the threshold of the Promised Land, ready to fulfill what many nineteenth-century Americans believed was God's plan for the nation.



Richard White (Author, Stanford University)

Overview | Contents | Formats


"A powerful book, crowded with telling details and shrewd observations."  —Michael Kazin, New York Times Book Review

This original, deeply researched history shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success.

BOOK DETAILS: Paperback, April 2012

·         5.5 × 8.3 in / 720 pages

CONQUERING THE PACIFIC (go to OMNI Newsletters on US Imperialism, Pacific Ocean, E. Asia)
Time of Fear (PBS), WWII Japanese-American Internment Camps in Arkansas
Center for the Study of Film and History


·         Home
·         Issues

·         Reviews

o    Books
o    Films
·         Conference
·         Resources
·         Submissions
·         Subscriptions
·         Advertising

·         About F&H

o    Our History
o    Our Staff
o    Our Board
·         Contact Us

A Time To Fear

A Time to Fear(2004) This PBS documentary gem tells the story of 16,000 Japanese Americans who, during World War II, were interned in a poor, remote area of Arkansas. The contrast between the cultured, competent Japanese Americans (40% of these ‘security risks’ were children) and the Arkansas residents of Jerome (100 population) is stark. Overriding concerns of the Arkansas governor included: the impact of intruding Japanese Americans into a totally segregated rural area; competition for scarce jobs; and the fear that some of the Japanese Americans might stay after the war.
A massive camp was hastily built for soon-arriving internees. The traditional family lives of these Japanese Americans were severely disrupted. The men were no longer the providers and the unquestioned authority. The lack of privacy impinged on the way these families conducted themselves. One got the impression of thousands of uprooted people seeking to maintain some dignity in an artificial and hostile environment.
The internees were diligent and resourceful. This the local Jerome residents found disturbing and even threatening. One of many interesting vignettes related to teachers. Under Civil Service regulations teachers hired to teach at the internment camp were paid $2,000 annually. This prompted many of the best local teachers to leave their $900/year public school positions.
A heavy-handed U. S. security program required internees to fill out a lengthy security form. For a variety of reasons, about 25 percent of the male internees at Jerome refused to denounce the emperor. These people were sent to higher-security camps.
Some of the internees provided insightful narratives as to how they felt and what they did during their two years of internment. Evidently, many of the younger internees flourished. Also, in part to escape the boredom of camp life, young men in Jerome joined about 10,000 other Japanese Americans in the 442nd Regiment, which won more battle decorations than any other U. S. military unit. Initially, there was great friction between the internees and Hawaiians of Japanese descent. This ceased, when a battalion of the 442nd visited the Jerome internment camp and witnessed the conditions under which innocent Americans were obliged to live.
Reference was made to a late 1944 Supreme Court ruling that declared that these internees were no longer ‘dangerous.’ This prompted a swift dispersal of Arkansas internees. For some, there was no obvious place to go, since their land and assets had been seized. California seemed to principal location, with others heading for many mid-Western cities. The Jerome camp was abandoned, then subsequently dismantled. Now only the memories of the remaining survivors and Jerome residents remain. One intriguing point, that was mentioned briefly, was that Milton Eisenhower had been in charge of the creation of these Japanese-American internment camps, once the military, with President Roosevelt’s concurrence, had labeled these American ‘security threats.’

Somebody else's wealth
Winona La Duke, All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press, 1999).

Louis Proyect
Tue, 21 Dec 1999 14:13:52 -0500

Review of Somebody Else's Wealth
By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Where does the vast wealth of the United States come from? It is hard to read the financial and popular press today without encountering stories that suggest the answer is the creativity of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

To this prevailing, romanticized perspective, Winona LaDuke
offers a jolt of reality: Many of the great U.S. fortunes are based on
somebody else's wealth -- the natural resources of Native Americans.

In her eloquent new book, All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press, 1999), LaDuke documents the historic -- and ongoing -- process of Native American dispossession.

LaDuke, a member of the Anishinaabeg nation, lives on the White Earth Reservation, in northern Minnesota. She describes how a series of treaties and U.S. laws transferred land from the Anishinaabeg to incoming settlers
and converted commonly held Anishinaabeg land into individual parcels, with much of it soon alienated from Anishinaabeg (and a huge chunk taken by the state of Minnesota, illegally, for taxes).

The big winners in the process were Frederick Weyerhaueser and the company he created. "Some are made rich and some are made poor," LaDuke writes.   "In 1895, White Earth 'neighbor' Frederick Weyerhaueser owned more acres
of timber than anyone else in the world." Today, descendant companies of Weyerhaueser continue to clearcut what remains of the Minnesota pine forests.

In upstate New York and Canada, the Mohawk nation retains land in
scattered reservations -- a tiny fraction of their former possessions. The
Akwesasne Mohawk Reserve borders the St. Lawrence River. Families that
once relied on fishing and farming have been forced, she writes, to
abandon their livelihoods because the river is so polluted with PCBs
dumped by General Motors and air pollution depositions have poisoned the

"Many of the families used to eat 20-25 fish meals a month," LaDuke quotes
an Akwesasne environmental expert as saying. "It's now said that the
traditional Mohawk diet is spaghetti."

All Our Relations features another half dozen case studies of corporate and governmental assaults on Native American land and livelihoods.

Dispossession of Native American lands has led to what LaDuke calls "structural poverty." Structural poverty, she told us, "ensues when you do not have control over the land or any of your assets."

"It is not a question of material wealth, but having conditions of human
dignity within the reservation," she says, citing a litany of devastating
statistics on Native American poverty rates, crime rates and access to
health care. "You can throw whatever social program you want at this, but
until we are allowed to determine our own destiny, these are the problems
we are going to face."

Dispossession has inflicted on Native Americans an intertwined spiritual
poverty as well, she says. "You have some [Native Americans] whose whole
way of life are based on buffalo, but we have no buffalo. This loss causes
a kind of grieving in our community."

But LaDuke's All Our Relations is as much a hopeful as depressing book.  She chronicles Native American resistance to incursions from multinational corporations, government agencies which frequently act to further corporate interests and a white-dominated society which too often
maintains a settler mentality.

She profiles women like Gail Small, "the kind of woman you'd want to watch your back at a meeting with dubious characters." An attorney, Small runs a group called Native Action, which has led the strikingly successful fight
against coal company strip mining on the Northern Cheyenne and other Montana reservations. Native Action has also pushed for affirmative development proposals, forcing the First Interstate Bank System to provide loans to Northern Cheyennes through use of the Community Reinvestment Act
and helping establish a Northern Cheyenne high school.

LaDuke herself is an inspiring figure, working with her White Earth Land
Recovery Project not only to pressure states and the federal government to
return Native American lands (which because they are government held,
would not require the displacement of any individual property holders),
but also trying to enact a sustainable forest management plan for White
Earth, supporting the development of wind power on the reservation and
establishing a project, Native Harvest, to "restore traditional foods and
capture a fair market price for traditionally and organically grown foods"
such as wild hominy corn, organic raspberries, wild rice, buffalo sausage
and maple syrup.

All Our Relations is a wonderful read, and an important book -- both foretelling a story of plunder and exploitation too often forgotten, and because, as LaDuke notes, "this whole discussion is really not about the Seminoles and the panther" or other particular problems facing particular groups of Native Americans -- "it is really about America."

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based
Multinational Monitor. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The
Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common
Courage Press, 1999,

(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Dear friends,
I see a lot of similarities between our history and red Indians story, in many countries.
Dr. Noah Salameh
VLAZNA: Colonial partners in Israel’s crimes 27Jan14 January 27, 2014
by Vacy Vlazna      -      Intifada-Palestine      -      25 January 2014
 “Imperialism after all is an act of  geographical violence”  Edward Said
 Is it just me, or do you also see a thread of colonial superiority and racism binding US, Australia, Canada to Israel?
Think about it. All are ex-British colonies and like Israel, have a shameful history of genocide committed against their respective Indigenous Peoples and all continue to treat their First Peoples as third class citizens.
I can’t speak for the US and Canada, but, apart from realpolitik and arms trade, an underlying colonial arrogance goes a long way to explain why my ‘civilised’ ‘democratic’ Australian government is complicit in granting Israel impunity to daily perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity against generations of Palestinian families.
The tragic past and near narratives of the suffering of unspeakable colonial atrocities against Indigenous Palestinians and Indigenous Australians bear close resemblance and are written in blood and great injustice.
Just as Israel’s Independence Day and the Palestinian Nakba Day (in remembrance of  deportation and dispossession) have a bloody symbiosis,  Australia Day  or Invasion Day, on the 26th January, is celebrated or mourned  according to the victors or the vanquished.
Both Israeli and British colonists took the ‘terra nullius’ doctrine – empty land’  approach to justify their brutal occupations and wholesale land theft of Palestine and Australia. Israel boasts it made the desert bloom though for centuries Palestine traded in olives, oil, quinces, pinenuts, figs, carob, cotton, dates, indigo, artichokes, citrus fruit, almonds, mint sumach and much more. In Australia the Aborigines maintained their food supply with a sophisticated management of the land with fire.
The island, named Australia by British invaders and colonists, was home to almost a million peoples of, at least, 200 nations that traced their ancestry back 60 millennia along spiritual songlines of the land to the Dreaming – to Creation.
The imperial genocidal wars and massacres (guns vs spears) such as those at Hawksbury, Nepean Richmond Hill, Risdon Cove, Appin, Bathurst, Port Phillip, Swan River (Battle of Pinjarra), Gravesend, Vinegar Hill, Myall Creek, Kinroy, Rufus R, Long lagoon,  Dawson River, Kalkadoon, Cape Grim, The Black war,  McKinley River, West Kimberely resisted by Aboriginal warriors like Pemulwuy, Winradyne, Multuggerah, Yagan, Jandamarra as well as starvation and western diseases decimated the dispossessed Aboriginal population to about 70,000 by 1920.
By then violent genocide was replaced by the more covert cultural genocide, or the genocide of indigeneity, through the government policy of assimilation intended to eradicate indigenous identity  by cruelly and systematically destroying connections to family, the tribe and ancestral lands.
Australia’s First Peoples were marginalised onto reservations and missions, restricted entry into white towns, exploited as unpaid slave labour, their indigenous languages and sacred rituals forbidden, and mixed blood children (The Stolen Generations) were forcibly kidnapped from their parents for resocialisation – ie to be made ‘white’.
Assimilation is where Australia, USA and Canada differ with Israel. The assimilation of Palestinians for Israel is an anathema. The Zionist goal is a pure Jewish state, rid of all Palestinians from the river to the sea. The whole of  historic Palestine, home to the Chosen People is a goal pursued with, ironically, an ideological fervour akin to  Hitler’s  Herrenrasse and Germanisation aspirations. Ergo, Israel perpetrates a slow motion brutal genocide and a relentless push of Palestinians over the exile cliff.
Until the 1967 Referendum, Aborigines were government property: “The right to choose a marriage partner, to be legally responsible for one’s own children, to move about the state and to socialise with non-Aboriginal Australians, were just some of the rights which Aboriginal people did not have.”
Sound familiar? Israel’s apartheid policies similarly impact on Palestinians.  Israel has passed racist laws that  impose severe movement restrictions dividing families, preventing family reunification and obstructing the marriage of couples who come from different zones. At least a third of Gazans have relatives in Israel and the West Bank. The personal pain of such enforced  separations which deny Palestinians the shared and cherished moments we enjoy freely is immeasurable…grandparents have never seen their grandchildren who may live 5 kilometres away… adult children are denied  the right to be with a dying parent…births…weddings…funerals ..are overshadowed by painful absences.
The Native Title Act, 1993, finally acknowledged that some Indigenous Australians ‘have rights and interests to their land  that come from their traditional laws and customs.’ But, as mining boomed on resource rich indigenous lands, corporate colonialism reared its greedy head undermining this landmark act with the Northern Territory Intervention.
It was  initiated by the Howard government in 2007 and maintained by successive governments including that of Kevin Rudd who made the historic apology to the Stolen Generations even though indigenous communities were suffering the humiliation of quarantined welfare payments and struggled to survive in third world conditions.
The Intervention was imposed “on the pretext that paedophile gangs were operating in Indigenous settlements. Troops were sent in; townships were compulsorily acquired and native title legislation ignored. Yet no prosecution for child abuse resulted, and studies concluded that there was no evidence of any systematic child abuse.” Marcus Waters, Review: Pilger’s Utopia shows us Aboriginal Australia in 2014
As the Prawer Plan was debated in the Israeli Knesset, the sound of the Australian government salivating with envy must have been deafening while imagining the power to evict, from their ancestral lands, 40,000 pesky Bedouins hindering Israel’s land expansion or the power to simply bulldoze Palestinian villages to build settlements for Zionist colonists.
Notorious for her death stare, Julie ‘Medusa’ Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister, on January 15, speaking for her government, with colonial panache dismissed Israeli settlements as war crimes with this vacuous statement,
“I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal.”
Not a good look coming from the FM of a nation privileged to have a seat on the UN Security Council, when even the gardener at Parliament House has heard of the Geneva Conventions.
Like its mate, the rogue state of Israel, Australia doesn’t give a toss for honouring its obligations under international law.
It tossed aside its obligations to the Refugee Conventions with its inhumane offshore asylum seeker policy, forcing  asylum seeker boats back to Indonesia, refusal to compensate people who have been held for prolonged  periods in mandatory detention, ‘breached its international anti-race discrimination obligations by continuing for almost three years it’s intervention policies with indigenous communities of the Northern Territory.’ the high instance of Aboriginal deaths in custody, the breaching of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the matter of Guantanamo inmate, David Hicks, the unresolved allegations that Australian intelligence officers were complicit in the torture of Mamdouh Habib when he was held in Pakistan Egypt and Guantanamo Bay, the Queensland bikie laws that fail to meet international fair trial standards.
Then there is the present case in the International Court of Justice against  Australia spying on Timor Leste during  the oil and gas treaty negotiations in an alleged attempt to rip off the poorest nation in Asia.
Colonial terrorism, disguised as civilised democracy, is not only perpetrated by the hollow men and women in authority. They are the monsters for whom you and I vote and without us they are powerless.   Until our moral conscience, intelligence and compassion determine how we vote, we too are their accomplices.

Recent OMNI Newsletters
US Capitalism 9-12
9-11 Families for Peace  9-11
Vegan Action 9-10
Police USA 9-3
Labor Day 9-1
Gaza 8-30
Nuclear Tests 8-26
Women’s Equality 8-26

Stannard, Holocaust
Churchill, Genocide
Anderson, French and Indian War
Gwynne, Fall of the Comanches
LaFeber, Economic Expansion
McCoy and Scarano, Expansion South and West
Sprague, Haiti
Gabriel, Arctic
(Go to US Imperialism Pacific/E. Asia WESTWARD MOVEMENT Newsletter)


No comments:

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)