Wounded Knee 1890 – Gaza 2014
Manifest Destiny in the United States and Israel
"Charles Marion Russell - The Custer Fight (1903)" by Charles Marion Russell - The Library of Congress. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
"There is no good Indian except a dead Indian.” Gen. Phillip Sheridan 1869
“Stay as long as you need to stay. Go wherever you need to go to deal with the vipers nest called Hamas.” Sen. Lindsay Graham 2014
As the process of extirpating the Palestinians from Israel comes to its final culmination, a little bit of historical comparison between the United States and Israel is appropriate. Analysis of the prevailing myths and memes can be helpful in understanding how two groups of people living in the same neighborhood can reside on different planets.
American “Manifest Destiny”, the total conquest of the North American continent by the Europeans from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was the predominant theme of U.S. culture up until the end of the nineteenth century, after which the U.S. joined the colonialists.
The final act in Manifest Destiny was the completion of the subjugation of the Native Americans by finally forcing all of the free-roaming Native Americans onto Indian reservations. From the beginning in the 1600s, the European settlers invaded a land populated by a people who had no effective way to resist the germs, guns, agriculture, and advanced technology of the settlers. Ultimately, the Native Americans were killed, acculturated, or put on a reservation out of the way of American Progress. Their primitive societies were fully outmatched by European science and organizational practices. The indigenous peoples never had a chance of winning.
The final gasp of resistance to the theft of the continent occurred at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1890 on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation when an army troop invaded a camp to disarm it. The result was a foregone conclusion. The Hotchkiss guns and repeating rifles killed about 300, comparatively unarmed, Lakota. 90 men killed (now those defending the camp would be labeled as terrorists) 200 women and children killed, and 51 wounded (7 fatally) When the massacre was over, all Indian resistance within the United States was finished. Manifest Destiny was complete. The fallen attackers were honored as heroes, though they were mostly killed by friendly fire.
As it is now constituted, Israel is a Manifest Destiny state. The Zionists view their Manifest Destiny as a land without Palestinians granted to them by the promise of God to Moses. Israel is in the closing phase of full subjugation of those on the Gaza Palestinian Reservation and the West Bank Palestinian Reservation, shrinking the reservations to minimal sizes.
Now we have a reprise of Wounded Knee. Israel is trying to disarm another tribal band on its Gaza Palestinian Reservation using weapons and organizational systems that completely outmatch the defenders. The desparate inhabitants of the oppressed place are resisting and being killed and wounded by the thousands. Israel has suffered a mere fraction in number of the casualties imposed on the Gazans. It is a massacre.
In the current media discourse over Gaza, the MSM refuses to acknowledge or speak about the elephant in the room--the fact that the root of the conflict is the land grab by the Zionists. The most recent reel of the story, the rocket attacks, is the only one played. All earlier events are ignored. The Palestinians are vilified and blamed for their own destruction as bit players in Israel's final act of extirpation in furtherance of its Manifest Destiny meme.
Many in the U.S. and in Israel view the Palestinians today much as the Americans viewed the Indians in days before the twentieth century. The Palestinians are seen as a race of vicious, murdering, terrorists not entitled to any civil rights or compassion. They got this bad rap from resisting their lands being stolen from them, not from some inherited character defect. They stood in the way of God’s plans for the place so that the Palestinians are now defined by many as a savage people who need to be extirpated without guilt or compromise. We will not even talk with them, Hamas. The significant event, the Nabka, is forgotten as was the Cherokee’s Trail of Tears. Possession of stolen land and destruction of its indigenous owners breeds forgetfulness.
The Palestinians have not been very articulate. For years, their media image is a picture of wildly gesticulating dancing men firing wildly into the air or the dust from the detonation of suicide vests. The image is counterproductive and off-putting for western people. The stock image completely fails to communicate the background for these demonstrations or the powerlessness of their desparate youth who have no other style of communication or ability to recover what was stolen from their fathers and grandfathers.
The juxtaposition between the meme of Manifest Destiny and the ongoing extirpation is not made forcefully and is not understood. I have always wondered why the Palestinian representatives all do not preface their remarks each and every time they speak with a recitation of the facts from the point of view of the Palestinians much along the following lines:
“Let us be reminded of why the present warring conflict exists.
The Europeans hated the Jews for centuries and engaged in a series of pogroms and exterminations in the mid twentieth Century. Then, out of guilt and an inability otherwise to remove the hated Jews from their own countries, the west decided to send the Jews to the land where my People have lived for millennia. They did not consider that we were there and that we, not they, we owned the land. The encroachers were too cheap and inconsiderate to pay us for what was stolen.
The western countries enabled the Zionists to steal our land and expel our millions from our orchards and homes without compensation or justice.
The western countries turned a blind eye and supplied the munitions that repeatedly massacred or starved millions of us.
The west and the Zionists subjugated us, driving us into exile. They have put us onto ever-shrinking reservations. The treaties made with us have been ignored and abrogated like the Indian treaties in the US..
The crimes against us are accompanied by the cheers of the lovers of Israel and paid for by the Americans and western Europeans.
Those of us who have pride and resist are branded to be Terrorists. Our brave women and children are dismissed as Human Shields and unavoidable casualties. Our families and culture are important to us, but we are seen as not human. If we do not resist to be seen in the world, we, like the Native Americans, will be forgotten and perish as a People.
This is why we seem to be mad.”
Forgetting or unaware of this history, the great majority of Americans and Europeans, due to the guilt and bigotry of their Manifest Destiny cultures, see the Palestinians as sub-humans who have no right to resist or to be entitled to a nationhood—they are people who hate the US because of its ‘way of life.’ They fail to see that the real reason for the hate against Israel and the U.S. is because these countries have participated in Palestine destruction and exile. Forgetfulness is central to the memes presented in the MSM and arguments in Congress. All are "strong supporters of Israel."
Now the Palestinians are engaged in an existential battle to save themselves. It is no wonder they fight back. Though they fight, their fight is really quite pitiful in terms of effect. Their weapons pose not real threat to the existential survival of Israel any more than did the guns of Crazy Horse or Geronomo. In the late 1800s, the marauding of a few hundred armed Indians hardly created an existential risk to a nation that fielded an army of a million just a few years before and was fast becoming the world's premier industrial giant.
The rockets are similarly insignificant and mostly an inconvenience. Other than as a propaganda tool, the rockets are a pitifully impotent act of resistance compared to the massive amount of ordinance that has impacted within the Gaza Palestinian Reservation. The rockets are equivalent to bows, arrows and spears against cannon, Henry rifles, and Gatling guns, all of which can kill, but only the industrial weapons can slaughter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Gaza_War Israel is so militarily strong that it cannot be crushed by the weak and random Palestinian rocket fire that has so inconvenienced the summer camps of the Israeli children this month.
The Israeli rocket casualties over many years are not even equivalent to the loss of Custer’s troop at the Little Big Horn on one day.
While the defeat of Custer was really a small and insignificant pin-prick against federal might, it caused an "emergency" expansion of the U.S. Army to address the “Indian threat.” Like the Last Stand, the Gaza rockets now raise a froth of frenzied anger that far exceeds the consequence of the act. Like the anger against the Indians following Little Big Horn that further mobilized the accelerated destruction of the defenseless Indians, the anger raised by the rockets is directed at a poor and defeated people. The present anger is raised as justification for the continued extirpation of the Palestinian people from the land of their birthright in fulfillment of the Manifest Destiny of the Jewish state allegedly ordained by God Almighty in the Torah. The Golani Brigade is admired as the present day manifestation of Joshua’s army and Custer's troop. The industrial weapons provided by the U.S. slaughter and maim hundreds of young innocents in a frenzy of revenge.
In the mind of the Manifest Destiny true-believers, all of the Indian children were maturing blood-thirsty savages and all Palestinian children are vipers who should be destroyed before they can breed.
No thought is given by the believers in Manifest Destiny to the rights of the subjugated people to defend their continued existence or to accommodate their needs. The victims of Manifest Destiny must submit and disappear. All that resist are deemed terrorists. Never are they seen as desparate people using their wits and limited resources to survive against an overwhelming evil bent on their destruction.
As adherents to the Manifest Destiny of Israel, men like Bibi Netanyahu and Lindsey Graham seem unable to envision the error of their adherence to the belief structure of Philip Sheridan. After all, in their view, the only good Palestinian is a dead Palestinian and the mothers must be killed so that the vipers do not breed. Too many in America do not know their history or the first reels of the Palestine saga also adhere to the bigotry of Manifest Destiny.
The murder will continue until a new vision of Israel can be invented in opposition to Manifest Destiny. If it does not develop soon, the Palestinians may suffer the fate of the Native Americans or, as likely, the Israelis will lose all support from the American and European peoples to their ultimate doom and destruction.
Unlike the Native Americans who died alone and unseen, the Palestinians do have outside friends who are watching now on the Internet. Their anger is growing as is the power of the memes they are inventing.