Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Noble as a Savage

The tale of the Comanches: The battle for Texas | The Economist: "the Indians waged a campaign of terror against white settlers streaming into the brand-new Republic of Texas. Rapes and scalps were common.

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'...the merciless Indian savages...'

This is the description to be found in the American Declaration of Independence, one of the most absurd pieces of propaganda ever penned. The line quoted sits oddly with how the Declaration begins: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...." But some are more equal.

The description of the 'merciless Indian savages' goes on thus: '...whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.'

Can we blame the Indian? He was merely defending his home, his territory, his way of life.

Today, replace the word 'Indian' with 'Taliban' or 'Afghan' and you have the old struggle all over again. But there has been an intermediate struggle, where the word has been replaced by 'Palestinian'. Mike Huckabee said that America and Israel are alike in that both were founded by people “escaping the galloping terror of tyranny”. Let me correct that: they were "running towards the galloping terror of tyranny".

"As against the Bedouins, our pioneers are in a position not unlike the American settlers against the Indians." These were the words of Louis Brandeis, the first Jew to sit on the Supreme Court (1916 - 1939). Jews were not escaping from any tyranny when people like the learned judge vigorously championed Zionism: they were heading towards tyranny.

The Indian, the Bedouin, the Afghan...the list is continuous. These people are the 'savages'. I do not see how these people can commit any crimes in defending their lands and their way of life.

May we be noble as the savage!

1 comment:

leilei said...

Just so. It seems as if we've learned nothing since then; We remain uncaring, acting as if we have the right to take all that we want from whomever we want, whenever we want it. We are a sad, pathetic bunch for the most part.