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How the West and the West Bank Were Won

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As I write to you from the heart of the Midwest, the epicenter of one of history's most egregious and shameful genocides, I watch with horror and moral revulsion as the US military industrial complex underwrites and supports a similar act of social extermination in the Middle East. CNN informed me yesterday that the mighty US military had killed eighteen civilians in Pakistan due to "bad intelligence" in the ongoing "war on terror". As an ally in this "war on terror", Pakistani leaders were justifiably upset. Can you imagine the repercussions if Pakistan killed eighteen American civilians on US soil in a "strike against terrorists" based on "bad intelligence"? There would certainly be hell to pay. Yet in this instance, the Pakistanis will be lucky to receive an apology.

It is NOT terrorism when we do it"

While the propaganda, lies, and white-washed accounts in American history books have often portrayed the Native Americans as "savages" who deserved to be "conquered" (while glorifying "how the west was won"), mainstream media frequently informs us of "acts of terrorism" by militant Palestinian individuals and groups. Concurrently, the abhorrent acts of state terrorism committed by the US and Israeli governments are usually presented as "necessary" and "acceptable".

The undeniable fact is that the United States is an imperial power which almost extinguished the Native American population and is working toward a similar result with the Palestinians through their proxy in Israel. Despite professing acceptance of diversity, racism, bigotry, and religious intolerance are deeply ingrained into the sociopolitical structure of the United States. Dehumanizing the human "obstacles" to accomplishing its imperialistic goals has enabled the United States to murder and abuse various groups throughout its history.

If they aren't human, it isn't murder"

Viewing Vietnamese as "gooks", "dinks", or "termites" enabled the US military to slaughter at least 2 million of them during the Vietnam invasion. Considering Iraqis as "ragheads" and "cockroaches" enabled the agents of the US government to wipe out 55,000 of their children during the Gulf War and 30,000 to 100,000 Iraqi civilians (and counting) during the illegal occupation of Iraq.

Stoking fires in the bellies of the essential loyal supporters of American mass murder and genocide in the Middle East are perverse propagandists like Michael Savage, the host of The Savage Nation, a syndicated radio show which reaches about eight million listeners across our "savage nation". His work is crucial to the Bush Regime's goal of brainwashing enough Americans to keep our nation sufficiently savage enough to perpetrate state terrorism, rendition, torture, and genocide.

Consider some of his hate speech which fuels rampant American racism against Islamic people and Arabs:

"Right now, even people sitting on the fence would like George Bush to drop a nuclear weapon on an Arab country. They don't even care which one it would be."

"I think these people need to be forcibly converted to Christianity....It's the only thing that can probably turn them into human beings."

"Take a look at what they've done to the Jewish people in Israel. The lies they've spewn about Israel. A little country [Israel] surrounded by racist, fascist bigots who don't want anyone but themselves living in that hell hole called the Middle East."

Sadly, Savage is not alone in disseminating his blatantly ignorant and irresponsible statements intended to incite hatred and fear in those Americans whose limited scope of knowledge makes them ripe targets for propaganda. Pundits like Ann Coulter and Peggy Noonan "feed the beast" with their inane rhetoric about Islam and people of Middle Eastern dissent. Fundamentalist Christian leaders like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell fan the flames of antipathy by feeding their flocks twisted notions of the nature of Islam.

This land is NOT your land; this land is my land!

Closer to home, and earlier in its history, the United States government waged a similar genocide against another ethnic group. David Stannard (in his American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World) noted that during the American Centennial, William Dean Howells wrote in the influential Atlantic Monthly:

"The red man, as he appears in effigy and in photograph in this collection [at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition], is a hideous demon, whose malignant traits can hardly inspire any emotion softer than abhorrence. In blaming our Indian agents for malfeasance in office, perhaps we do not sufficiently account for the demoralizing influence of merely beholding those false and pitiless savage faces...."

Also, according to Stannard, "progressive" President Teddy Roosevelt advocated the elimination of Native Americans and the confiscation of their land and resources. A commonly held belief throughout American history was that the indigenous peoples of North and South America were culturally, spiritually, and intellectually inferior to their "civilized", "Christian" conquerors, and that since the native population was not utilizing land and resources "productively", they deserved to lose them. Stannard notes the sick irony that Roosevelt's face is now carved into Mount Rushmore, which is located in the Black Hills, a site sacred to the Lakota Sioux.

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Jason Miller, Senior Editor and Founder of TPC, is a tenacious forty something vegan straight edge activist who lives in Kansas and who has a boundless passion for animal liberation and anti-capitalism. Addicted to reading and learning, he is mostly (more...)
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