by Jason Miller
How the West and the West Bank Were Won
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
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
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
"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.
Bearing in mind that the 1994 UN Convention on the Punishment and Prevention of
the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as "the destruction and
extermination of a culture", it is instructive to consider that it also
includes five activities considered to be genocidal:
Killing members of the group.
Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
For perspective, a brief look at some low-lights of the American
Holocaust is in order:
While difficult to determine with certainty, conservative estimates place the
Native American population at 5 million when Columbus was credited with
discovering the Western Hemisphere. A decrease of 95% (to 250,000) by 1900
demonstrates the severity of the genocide committed by the European invaders and
ultimately the US government.
In 1637 the Puritans of the Connecticut Valley murdered close to six hundred
unarmed Pequots, and in the words of their minister, Increase Mather, "sent
six hundred heathen souls to hell". Other significant massacres of
noncombatant Native Americans throughout America's history include the
Gnadenhutten Massacre in 1782, the Chehaw Affair in 1818, the Battle of Bad Axe
in 1832, and the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.
As the European conquerors sought to satiate their seemingly endless appetite
for more land, they displaced many indigenous people from their homelands,
disrupting their ability to cope and to maintain their culture. With the advent
of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the US military began utilizing force of arms
to move aboriginal people westward to free up land for the "more
deserving" whites. Perhaps the best known and most tragic of these
"evictions" was the Trail of Tears, in which 4,000 Cherokees died
during their forced march from their homeland. The Cherokees had schools,
businesses, and a system of government modeled after that of the United States,
but these "savages" were still "unworthy" to possess their
land. Ultimately the Indian Removal Act resulted in the US government forcing
100,000 Native Americans west of the Mississippi River.
In an effort to assimilate Native Americans into their "superior
culture", white settlers separated children from their parents and put them
into boarding schools. There the Native American children had little alternative
but to abandon their beliefs, mode of dress, language and other cultural aspects
in favor of Christianity, English and Western ideals. Understandably, many of
these children suffered from depression or fled from these horrid institutions.
Native Americans did not regain the right to self-determination until the
1960's. While Native American populations have risen significantly since, the
poverty rate for Native Americans was 27% in 2000, compared with an overall US
poverty level of 13.9%. Perhaps more troubling, 7% of Native American pre-teen
school age children were not even enrolled in school.
American Genocide II: Aiding, Abetting and Taming the Wild, Wild West
In the Middle East, the United States bears significant responsibility for many
atrocities committed against innocent civilian populations. The US military has
killed hundreds of thousands of civilians directly. US support of ruthless
dictators like the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein (before he became our
"sworn enemy") has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands
more denizens of the Middle East. Wealthy and influential Zionist individuals
and organizations (i.e. AIPAC) have ensured the US support of the Israeli
squatters in Palestine. The US government has been complicit in the ongoing
genocide of the Palestinians to enable the Zionists to realize their objective
to drive the last vestiges of their own "indigenous savages" from
"Zionist land". Providing obscene amounts of financial support to
Israel and utilizing its power as a member on the Security Council to nullify UN
efforts to intervene in the Palestinian crisis are perhaps the US government's
most horrendous crimes (and morally reprehensible acts) in the Middle East. Not
only are they participating in acts of state terrorism and murder, they are also
abetting the eradication of an entire ethnic group.
Consider this brief overview of the Palestinians’ plight:
Admittedly, throughout human history, the Jewish people have been persecuted and
I feel compassion for them. However, some of them responded by determining that
they needed their own sovereign state and founded the Zionist movement in the
late Nineteenth Century. Palestine became their target site for their
"homeland" as they viewed it as "a land without people for a
people without land". Regardless of the Jewish plight, there was a
significant moral flaw in the Zionists' goal. Palestine was a "land with
In 1917, Great Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, a letter to the Zionist
Federation, in which it stated British support of the Zionists' "national
home" in Palestine and that the British would employ their "best
endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this objective". At the close of
World War I, Palestine became a British "mandate" as the Western
powers divided up the former Ottoman Empire.
Following World War II, the United Nations created two independent states in
Palestine, one Jewish and one Arab. The city of Jerusalem was intended to be
international with UN oversight. At the time of the UN partition plan, Jewish
people owned 6% of the land and were 33% of the population, yet the UN ceded 55%
of Palestine to the Jewish state.
In 1948, Israel declared itself to be independent, and a Palestinian-Arab war
ensued. By the war's end, the Palestinians no longer had a nation. Israel
controlled 78% of Palestine and between 700,000 and 900,000 Palestinians became
refugees, fleeing primarily to Syria and Lebanon. To discourage their return,
Israelis confiscated or destroyed the property of those who fled. Of those
Palestinians remaining in what had been their homeland, about 130,000
Palestinians remained in the area the UN had designated as the Jewish state,
while approximately 500,000 settled in the West Bank and Gaza.
Preying on the divisions amongst the Palestinians, and the ambiguity of their
national identity, Israeli leaders like Golda Meir fueled the Zionist cause with
absurd propagandistic statements like:
"There was no such thing as Palestinians. It was not as thought there was a
Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and
we came and threw them out and took their country from them. They did not
Until the 1967 War, France was Israel's chief source for weaponry. However, it
was at that time that the US began taking a significant interest in Israel's
cause. It became Israel's chief enabler as it supplied it with money, weapons
and powerful diplomatic support. By the 1970's the international community was
calling for an independent Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, but the
United States threw its weight behind Israel's rejection of this possibility.
In 1982, Israeli forces launched an invasion of Lebanon (which the UN Security
Council condemned) to strike at the Palestine Liberation Organization. They
killed approximately 20,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in the process.
Utilizing the assasination of Lebanese president Bachir Gemayel as a catalyzing
event (it was later discovered he was killed by a Syrian rather than the PLO),
Ariel Sharon (Bush's so-called "man of peace"), urged the Lebanese
Phalangist militia to enter the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps to
eradicate the PLO while he sealed the perimeters with Israeli forces. The
Phalangists massacred anywhere from 700 to 2,000 Palestinian civilians
(depending on whose count one believes). Israel's own government determined that
Sharon bore "personal responsibility" for the massacre because he knew
it was taking place and did not act to stop it. As a result, Sharon resigned his
post as Israeli Defense Minister in 1983.
What are the conditions for the Palestinians who chose to remain in the West
Bank and Gaza? According to CIA data, over half of the labor force is
unemployed. One of five Palestinians subsists on the equivalent of $2.10 per
day. As a result of Israeli military actions, restriction of Palestinian
movement, and border closings, over 100,000 Palestinians are now former
employees of businesses in Israeli settlements. Despite the window-dressing of
the recent withdrawal of Jewish settlers in Gaza, Israel continues to expand its
number of settlements in Palestinian territory (which is illegal under the
Fourth Geneva Convention). Israel persists in demolishing Palestinian homes
without permits (utilizing colossal American-made Caterpillar armored bulldozers
purchased with US funds).
In the West Bank, Israel is building the Apartheid Wall, an 8 meter tall
monolith which is twice the height of the former Berlin Wall and will eventually
be four times the length. This barrier encroaches on Palestinian territory and
will displace still more Palestinians as its construction continues.
Palestinians are essentially prisoners in their own lands (Gaza and the West
Bank) as Israel segregates Palestinians into isolated "bantustans"
(similar to those of Apartheid South Africa) and maintains an iron grip on
natural resources (like water). The IDF (Israel's military) consistently employs
US supplied F-16 fighters and Apache helicopters to terrorize a Palestinian
people with no organized military or state (killing an average of 1,000
Palestinian civilians per year). Yet Israel and their enablers label the
Palestinians who lash out against the unbearable oppression and injustice as
"terrorists". Who is truly terrorizing whom?
Taking home the prize regardless of the cost
History repeats itself. The United States "won the West" through
committing genocide and has facilitated Israel's "winning the West
Bank" through their own ethnic cleansing. Since 1949, the US has supplied
Israel with over $100 billion in aid. With a population of only 6 million
people, Israel receives more annual US aid than Asia, Latin America and Africa
(excluding the nations of Egypt and Colombia). The Palestinians who engage the
Israelis violently wield the equivalent of rocks and sticks against some of the
highest tech weaponry on the planet in their pitiful effort to prevent their
annihilation. Sound familiar?
US imperialists conquered the West and now employ their proxy in Israel to
justify conquering their next "frontier" inhabited by
"savages" who possess the coveted resource of oil. Dehumanizing Arabs,
Persians, and Islamic people in the psyches of average Americans through a
variety of propagandistic means allows our criminal leaders to participate in a
genocide in Palestine similar to the one they perpetrated against the Native
Americans. As they routinely kill innocent civilians throughout the Middle East
and support the Palestinian genocide, members of America's ruling elite blithely
dismiss these murders with platitudes like "war is hell".
Radical? Yes. Irrational? No.
In December, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told Iranian television:
"If European countries claim that they have killed Jews in
World War II... why don't they provide the Zionist regime with a piece of
Europe.....Germany and Austria can provide the... regime with two or three
provinces for this regime to establish itself, and the issue will be
Let's consider the logic and tremendous potential benefits
afforded by Ahmadinejad's proposal for a moment....
The Middle East sans a "Mini-Me" clone of the United States, the
perpetrators of the Holocaust footing the bill for reparations to the Jewish
people, the end of Palestinian genocide, and the return of Palestine to its
Why not get started now?
And if that plan doesn't come to fruition, a massive movement of We the
People of the United States could insist that OUR
government end the Apartheid and genocide in Palestine by ending our support of
Israel with OUR tax dollars. While we are at it, we could also
demand that our government end its malevolent imperialistic foreign policies
which entail state terrorism, conquest of sovereign nations, and the deaths of
tens of thousands of our military personnel in regional wars to maintain "Pax
It is not too late for America to rise to the ideals spelled out in our