Monday, October 08, 2007

Confronting the Truth - From Columbus Day to Today

From Common Dreams, this articulate observation:

Columbus Day - As Rape Rules Africa
and American Churches Embrace Violent ‘Christian’ Video Games
by Thom Hartmann

“Gold is most excellent; gold constitutes treasure; and he who has it does all he wants in the world, and can even lift souls up to Paradise.”
Christopher Columbus, 1503 letter to the king and queen of Spain.

Christopher Columbus not only opened the door to a New World, but also set an example for us all by showing what monumental feats can be accomplished through perseverance and faith.”
George H.W. Bush, 1989 speech

If you fly over the country of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, the island on which Columbus landed, it looks like somebody took a blowtorch and burned away anything green. Even the ocean around the port capital of Port au Prince is choked for miles with the brown of human sewage and eroded topsoil. From the air, it looks like a lava flow spilling out into the sea....

When Columbus first landed on Hispaniola in 1492, virtually the entire island was covered by lush forest. The Taino “Indians” who loved there had an apparently idyllic life prior to Columbus, from the reports left to us by literate members of Columbus’s crew such as Miguel Cuneo.
When Columbus and his crew arrived on their second visit to Hispaniola, however, they took captive about two thousand local villagers who had come out to greet them. Cuneo wrote: “When our caravels… where to leave for Spain, we gathered…one thousand six hundred male and female persons of those Indians, and these we embarked in our caravels on February 17, 1495…For those who remained, we let it be known (to the Spaniards who manned the island’s fort) in the vicinity that anyone who wanted to take some of them could do so, to the amount desired, which was done.”
Cuneo further notes that he himself took a beautiful teenage Carib girl as his personal slave, a gift from Columbus himself, but that when he attempted to have sex with her, she “resisted with all her strength.” So, in his own words, he “thrashed her mercilessly and raped her.”

...We live in a culture that includes the principle that if somebody else has something we need, and they won’t give it to us, and we have the means to kill them to get it, it’s not unreasonable to go get it, using whatever force we need to.
In the United States, the first “Indian war” in New England was the “Pequot War of 1636,” in which colonists surrounded the largest of the Pequot villages, set it afire as the sun began to rise, and then performed their duty: they shot everybody-men, women, children, and the elderly-who tried to escape. As Puritan colonist William Bradford described the scene: “It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they [the colonists] gave praise therof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully…”
The Narragansetts, up to that point “friends” of the colonists, were so shocked by this example of European-style warfare that they refused further alliances with the whites. Captain John Underhill ridiculed the Narragansetts for their unwillingness to engage in genocide, saying Narragansett wars with other tribes were “more for pastime, than to conquer and subdue enemies.”
In that, Underhill was correct: the Narragansett form of war, like that of most indigenous Older Culture peoples, and almost all Native American tribes, does not have extermination of the opponent as a goal. After all, neighbors are necessary to trade with, to maintain a strong gene pool through intermarriage, and to insure cultural diversity. Most tribes wouldn’t even want the lands of others, because they would have concerns about violating or entering the sacred or spirit-filled areas of the other tribes. Even the killing of “enemies” is not most often the goal of tribal “wars”: It’s most often to fight to some pre-determined measure of “victory” such as seizing a staff, crossing a particular line, or the first wounding or surrender of the opponent.

This wétiko type of theft and warfare is practiced daily by farmers and ranchers worldwide against wolves, coyotes, insects, animals and trees of the rainforest; and against indigenous tribes living in the jungles and rainforests. It is our way of life. It comes out of our foundational cultural notions.
(Can you believe these guys dressed like the bobbsey twins. Watch, the Bushites wear the same tie and suit as the Fuhrer...I haven't seen this kind of stuff since grade school.)

So it should not surprise us that with the doubling of the world’s population over the past 37 years has come an explosion of violence and brutality, and as the United States runs low on oil, we are now fighting wars in oil-rich parts of the world. It shouldn’t surprise us that our churches are using violent “kill the infidels” video games to lure in children, while in parts of Africa contaminated by our culture and rich in oil (Congo) rape has become so widespread as to make the front page of yesterday’s New York Times.
These are all dimensions, after all, our history, which we celebrate on Columbus Day. But if we wake up, and we help the world wake up, it need not be our future.
Excerpted and slightly edited from “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It’s Too Late,” a book by Thom Hartmann which helped inspire Leonardo DiCaprio’s new movie The 11th Hour. Hartmann’s most recent book is Cracking The Code: How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America’s Original Vision.

Another UNOCAL site ...another endless genocide...from Burma to Afghanistan the lies masked by fundamentalist religions trek on.

BIG OIL above the law - beneath the contempt of all humanity WORLDWIDE.


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