Tuesday, April 12, 2011

US Government Compares AlQaeda Terrorists To Native Americans Who Dared To Resist Genocide

Government denies its racist past in its genocide of Native Americans .
Obama administration continues to make excuses and rationalize its abuse and torture of suspected terrorists, insurgents, political dissidents while perpetrating War Crimes and Crimes against humanity in Afghanistan and Iraq
There's almost nothing new in all this except this time the public gets to see physical evidence of crimes ie photos and video
The US carried out such crimes in the first Gulf War and in El Salvador and Nicaragua , Chile, Vietnam, Korea , the Philippines (19th century), Cuba early 20th century so it is all just part of American history its Mythos and its psycho-pathology from early colonies to the present.

also see earlier posts (listed at the bottom of this post )at Gord's Poetry Factory on ethnic cleansing and Genocide as part of American and European history from Julius Ceaser's Ethnic Cleansing of the Celts to USA Ethnic Cleansing of Native Americans to the 2,000 Years of Western Anti-Semitism which led to the Shoah (holocaust)to the conquering and brutal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Propaganda of Islamophobia and so on:

US government prosecutors shamefully compare the terrorist organization AlQaeda to Native Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries who fought back against American and European invaders who were intent on wiping out Native Americans.

From http://indiancountrynews.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11421&Itemid=1"> Indiancountrynews.com

Watch live streaming video from indiancountrytv at livestream.com

About a week prior to the slaughter at Wounded Knee (1890), L.Frank Baum, editor of South Dakota's Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer in an editorial wrote:
" The nobility of the Redskin is extinquished and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The whites by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians.(WHY NOT ANNIHILATION?)Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced, better they should die than live the miserable wretches that they are." .L. FRANK BAUM (author of THE WIZARD OF OZ )
borrowed from the following website:

AND on the Genocide of Native or Aboriginal Americans:

"In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" . . . and made the first contact with the "Indians." For Native Americans, the world after 1492 would never be the same. This date marked the beginning of the long road of persecution and genocide of Native Americans, our indigenous people. Genocide was an important cause of the decline for many tribes.

"By conservative estimates, the population of the United states prior to European contact was greater than 12 million. Four centuries later, the count was reduced by 95% to 237 thousand.

Once again the federal government of the United States engages in revisionist history by suggesting that it was Native Americans who were the aggressors and trouble makers who were without justification maliciously attacking the peaceful European settlers .
The governments of the time had decided that the Native Americans were occupying valuable land that the settlers wanted to take possession of and so began the War on the Indians.
These European settlers and pioneers eventually became the Americans who had few qualms about butchering millions of Native Americans .
The governments of the day demonized and dehumanized Native Americans characterizing Native Americans as "savages" who were involved in pagan worship who were immoral and unGodly and that it was therefore the duty of Civilized white Christian Americans to convert them to Christianity or to slaughter them.

As the adage of the time was only good Indian was a dead Indian which seems to have represented a majority of Americans or at least those in positions of power and wealth.

What is a more apt comparison is to compare the US governments policy of wantonly killing abusing and torturing the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan to the US policy in the past towards Native Americans.
In both cases the government along with its quiz-ling Media demonizing and dehumanizing the so-called enemy in order to ease its conscience and that of the American people in the slaughter and abuse and torture of the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan.

As I pointed out a few days ago using video of Tariq Ali that the US government and other Western nations in fact encourage Islamophobia that is an irrational fear of all things Islamic so that even the killing of unarmed women, men or children is characterized as merely "Collateral Damage" which they argue happens during "The Fog Of War".
These are just rationalizations and excuses made by the military and government for their failures.
For instance as we have seen in the video of the interview of Col. Jack Jacobs by Rachel Maddow Col. jacobs explained the technology the US military has available is astounding .

This awesome technology from satellites and high flying spy planes they can get accurate readings and pictures of what's happening on the ground from pictures of training camps or schools to convoys of enemy combatants Taliban or War Lords and Drug dealers.

And yet tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been slaughtered by the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan quite often they have been killed high altitude bombings or by unmanned Drones or by Helicopter Gunships . Given this technology why are American forces guilty of so many mistakes for instance not being able to tell the difference between Shepherd boys in afghanistan from Al Qaeda or Taliban combatants- or as in the case of the infamous Baghdad massacre the American Helicopter Gunship crew appeared to be in the mood to kill a few people and so seeing a group of men on the ground in daylight they blasted away killing some 19 men included among them two journalist. The American crew got a great kick out of the killing and even went back to shoot at any who appeared to be still alive-that is against all rules of engagement they murdered the wounded. They also killed several men who stopped their van to help the wounded. The Americans shot hundreds of rounds into these Iraqi civilians and when they realized there were children in the van they just chuckled and blamed the Iraqis for taking their children into a combat zone- the problem is that it was not a combat zone until the Americans fired on these civilians.

So the attitude is that the American troops can kill combatants and non-combatants that is civilians , women, children etc. because all are potentially the enemy .
We know from reports about US military basic training that US soldiers are flooded with propaganda which tells them day in and day out that all Muslims are evil, or all Iraqis and Afghans are evil and that as Christians it is their duty to kill as many Muslims as they can since Islam is a religion of Satan or that these peoples are inferior to Americans that they are uncivilized , superstitious,irrational fanatics who are out to destroy not just America but Western Civilization and Christianity.

We know that on Sundays when soldiers are in basic training they are made to voluntarily as soldiers like to say to attend Sunday sermons run by extremist Evangelical pro-Dominionists Christians who are themselves hostile to the notion of the separation of Church and State and further believe that only Christians should be permitted into the US military.

The language used in the US military and from the Pentagon and Whitehouse and its co-opted media is similar to that used against Native Americans as being unGodly, Satan worshipers or possessed by demons, of being brutal savages bereft of any morality and as inferior to Christian Americans and so killing Native Americans or in our own times killing Iraqis and Afghans or any Muslim is not a sin but in fact is considered a "Noble Deed".

Government Calls Native American Resistance of 1800s "Much Like Modern-Day Al-Qaeda"
Monday 11 April 2011 by: Vincent Warren, Truthout

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued a statement concerning the hearing before the United States Court of Military Commission Review in United States v. Al Bahlul, before its scheduled date of March 17, 2011. Al Bahlul is the first appeal of a Guantanamo military commission conviction to proceed before the Court of Military Commission Review. The case is notable because, in essence, it is a conviction in desperate search of supporting war crimes. But it's also notable for the ahistorical and racist rhetoric in the government briefs that suggest equivalency between Native Americans resisting US takeover of their homelands and al-Qaeda. If you were to ask the Seminoles, I suspect they would say that the greatest threat to their homeland security during the 1800s was in fact the US government.

It's appalling that the Obama administration has abandoned its pledge to close Guantanamo. But it's intolerable that it would invoke and distort one of the darkest moments in American history to justify its failure. Here's the CCR statement:

"Mr. Bahlul has been imprisoned at Guantánamo for nearly a decade. After two presidential administrations, one Supreme Court decision, two acts of Congress, three sets of charges, a trial that concluded more than two years ago, appellate proceedings that began more than a year ago, a reshuffling of the Court of Military Commission Review, and a decision to hear the appeal en banc, the government has all but conceded that the offenses for which Mr. Bahlul was originally convicted before a military commission - conspiracy, solicitation and providing material support for terrorism - were not established law-of-war offenses under U.S. or international law at the time they were allegedly committed."

...The court should also reject the government's notable reliance on the "Seminole Wars" of the 1800s, a genocide that led to the Trail of Tears. The government's characterization of Native American resistance to the United States as "much like modern-day al Qaeda" is not only factually wrong but overtly racist, and cannot present any legitimate legal basis to uphold Mr. Bahlul's conviction.

Sadly, however, the removal and attempted eradication of Native Americans is not unlike the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo in that each stands alongside slavery and Jim Crow, the targeting of immigrants, and the internment of Japanese-Americans, among other examples, as a stark reminder of how in times of fear and xenophobia our nation has brutalized and demonized human beings as "others" who are unworthy of the rights most Americans take for granted in order to deny them equal protection of the law.

Guantánamo was designed to be a prison where no laws applied. Today, it remains a prison reserved exclusively for Arab and Muslim men, many of whom the president recently announced would be subjected to military commissions, an ad hoc system intended to manufacture convictions unattainable in federal court.

and from website Concurring Opinions: The Pentagon Likens Native Americans to al Qaeda: More than Just an Incredibly Offensive Analogy by Jonathan Hafetz March 31, 2011

Somehow, Defense Department lawyers thought they could strengthen their defense of military commissions by comparing the Seminole Indians of Spanish Florida to al Qaeda.

In a recent brief to the Court of Military Commissions Review (CMCR), the Pentagon cited an 1818 military commission convened by General Andrew Jackson to execute two British men, Robert Ambrister and Alexander George Arbuthnot, for assisting the Seminole Indians after U.S. forces had invaded then-Spanish Florida to prevent black slaves from escaping. The prosecution’s brief elaborated: “Not only was the Seminole belligerency unlawful, but, much like modern-day al Qaeda, the very way in which the Seminoles waged war against U.S. targets itself violate the customs and usages of war. Because Ambrister and Arbuthnot aided the Seminoles both to carry on an unlawful belligerency and to violate the laws of war, their conduct was wrongful and punishable.” (emphasis added).

Bad lawyering? Very. Offensive? Deeply. Revealing? Highly.

The filing set off a storm of protest, prompting the National Congress of American Indians (NCIA), the nation’s oldest and largest association of tribal governments, to file a letter brief with the CMCR correcting the record. As the NCIA put it:

“This is an astonishing statement of revisionist history. General Jackson was ordered by President Monroe to lead a campaign against Seminole and Creek Indians in Georgia. The politically ambitious Jackson used these orders as an excuse to invade Spanish-held Florida and begin an illegal war, burning entire Indian villages in a campaign of extermination. The Seminole efforts to defend themselves from an invading genocidal army could be termed an “unlawful belligerency” only by the most jingoistic military historian. General Jackson narrowly escaped censure in the U.S. Congress, was condemned in the international community, and his historical reputation was stained with dishonor.”

Prosecutors acknowledged that the Seminole portion of their brief “could have benefited from greater precision” and clarified that they do not actually “equate the conduct of the Seminoles in 1817-1818 with that of al Qaeda.” Instead, prosecutors noted, the government “cites General Jackson’s campaign and the tribunals he convened not as an example of moral right but as legal precedent: the morality or propriety of General Jackson’s military operation in Florida is irrelevant.” Prosecutors, to my knowledge, have not agreed to withdraw the offensive portions of the brief or disavowed their reliance on this precedent.

The Ambrister- Arbuthnot commission may be historical evidence, but it’s not legal precedent and it’s very poor evidence. That commission was never considered or validated by any court. Jackson, meanwhile, was almost censured by Congress and the decision was castigated, including by the House Committee on Military Affairs. William Winthrop, whom the U.S. Supreme Court has called “the Blackstone of Military Law” and repeatedly cited in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and other opinions, later described Jackson’s order to execute Ambrister (after the commission had sentenced him to corporal punishment) as “wholly arbitrary and illegal.” (Winthrop also remarked that if an officer had ordered the execution as Jackson had, he “would now be indictable for murder.”). If one were defending the commissions, this is historical evidence you’d normally want to bury, not showcase.

So why did the government stoop so low? Because one of the charges at issue–material support for terrorism–has never been treated as a war crime, nor is it viewed that way today, except by the U.S. Congress. Prosecutors are thus seeking to avoid looming constitutional problems (under the ex post facto clause and define and punish clause) by arguing that material support for terrorism is analogous to the traditional crime of aiding the enemy. The Ambrister-Arbuthnot commission was the best they could dig up in support. The argument is as unpersuasive as it is offensive.

also see earlier posts at Gord's Poetry Factory on ethnic cleansing and Genocide as part of American and European history from Julius Ceaser's Ethnic Cleansing of the Celts to USA Ethnic Cleansing of Native Americans to the 2,000 Years of Western Anti-Semitism which led to the Shoah (holocaust)to the conquering and brutal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Propaganda of Islamophobia and so on:

Gord's Poetry Factory :NOVEMBER 28, 2010 William S. Burroughs Thanksgiving Prayer And "Wounded Knee Massacre" & Rush Limbaugh Attacks Obama's Thanksgiving Proclamation


Gord's Poetry Factory DECEMBER 30, 2009 "Avatar & Genocide & The Evils Of Colonialism Plus Keith Olbermann Takes On O'Reilly, Beck, and Fox News"

DECEMBER 31, 2009 James Cameron's Avatar & District 9, Dances With Wolves, Soldier Blue, A Man Called Horse & Broken Arrow (1950)

Gord's Poetry Factory JULY 03, 2008 America and The Way of The Gun : More Frontiers to Conquer From Daniel Boone to Indiana Jones

And so it goes,

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