Friday, February 29, 2008

The War Criminal on the Twenty-Dollar Bill

The village was completely unprepared when the siege began. Propelled by an insatiable lust to avenge the recent destruction of a military installation, the attackers chose the small, undefended community as the target of a reprisal raid.

But this wasn’t a battle. It was a slaughter.

Within a few hours, not a living thing was left behind in the village, save only a few troops from the attacking force. The villagers who had weapons faced the larger and better-armed invaders unflinchingly, dying where they stood with their faces to the enemy. “For good measure,” writes one historian, the attackers “shot down women and children until the ground ran vermilion.”

Still, the atavistic appetite for vengeance was not slaked. When it was discovered that 45 people – including women and children – had sought refuge in a cabin, the assailants surrounded the crude little dwelling, set it afire, and both watched and listened as the flames claimed the lives of shrieking, terrified people who cried out to their gods for deliverance.

The following day, after the charred debris of that cabin had cooled, a food cache was found in its basement. The invaders had undertaken a long forced march to reach the village, and their supplies were inadequate to keep the army fed. So from the basement the troops retrieved a large supply of potatoes that had been roasted in the fatty runoff that resulted as their victims were burned to death.

Fortified by their cannibalistic repast, the attackers went on to repeat their exploits at a larger nearby town, this time setting scores of houses ablaze and burning hundreds of civilians. Within a short time they had defeated the main body of their enemy and secured the surrender of their leader, who offered himself for execution as a ransom for the women and children who had been driven into the wild to escape the attackers.

For the victorious commander of the terror campaign, these assaults were simply a down-payment on a more ambitious project, one that would require the expulsion of tribal enemies from their lands, and the extermination of those who didn’t leave. Carrying out the policy he envisioned would eventually claim the lives of tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

This story could have been set in Darfur, took place in Alabama, amid the “Red Sticks” Creek uprising in 1813.*

The first incident described above, the Tallussahatchee Massacre, was intended as a reprisal for a devastating Creek attack on Ft. Mims, a slapdash installation that was the product of shoddy workmanship and strategic ineptitude.

The Creeks, roiled the revanchist “Red Sticks” movement, were brutal in their attack on Ft. Mims, an engagement they considered necessary to turn back encroaching settlers. Savage as that attack was, it was a "battle," not a "massacre" (as it's commonly called): The fort was a military installation, after all. Though atrocities were committed during the assault, at least some of the Creeks took care to spare non-combatants. One of them, a warrior named Sanota, placed his life at considerable risk to Vicey Cornells and seven of her children, whom he fed and cared for until he could take them to a white settlement.

Of course, there was no reciprocal sense of restraint on the part of those who attacked Tallussahatchee, a target that was chosen specifically because it was defenseless. The next morning, as the militiamen digested the grisly meal described above, their commander gleefully promised that they would “repeat Tallussahatchee” in their next engagement. This was too much for at least some of the men to bear, and they rebelled. Somehow, their commander was able to maintain discipline long enough to carry out the second massacre.

As many of you already know, the architect of these atrocities is the figure who stares out at us from the twenty dollar bill, his craggy features seeming to radiate benevolence. To the Creeks, Choctaw, and others who were the firs subjects of his “Indian Removal” program, Jackson was known variously as Jacksa Chula Harho (“Jackson Old and Fierce”), “Sharp Knife,” and, simply, The Devil.

Among the backwoodsmen who rallied to fight the Red Sticks under Jackson was a Tennessean named Davy Crockett. I’d like to think that Crockett was among those who tried to desert Jackson’s army following Tallussahatchee, and that disgust over Jackson’s acts of undisguised mass murder helped turn Crockett into a foe of “Old Hickory,” but I can’t demonstrate from available records that this was the case.

Red Eagle, the chief who offered himself on behalf of his people in a conference with Jackson at Horseshoe Bend, had been born William Weatherford. His father was an American settler in Georgia, his mother a woman of mixed Scottish/French/Creek ancestry. His brother John had chosen to follow the Euro-American path. As is so often the case in such episodes from our history, Red Eagle displayed greater valor, boldness, and compassion than that demonstrated by the forces of “Christian” civilization.

"Old Hickory" meets with Red Eagle (aka William Weatherford): In defense of his homeland, the Creek war chief (who shared Jackson's Scottish ancestry on his mother's side) offered himself for execution in exchange for mercy toward the women and children of his tribe. That offer tells us something about the savagery of Jackson's campaign against the Creeks.

Andrew Jackson was a man of many worthy accomplishments. He was certainly right about the evil represented by the Bank of the United States. He was also an individual of considerable personal courage. This doesn’t change the fact that he was a war criminal who presided over one of history’s larger atrocities: The “Trail of Tears” and beginning of continent-wide dispossession of the Indians.

The term “Jacksonian” is often wedded to various kinds of populism, as well as the attendant spoils system. But the term, as we shall see anon, has recently come to be used to describe a certain type of authoritarian pseudo-populism that supports both foreign war and the kind of dictatorial presidential leadership that is produced by war.

The fruits of the "Jacksonian" worldview: Iraqis comb the rubble of their homes in search of the remains of their families.

Many conservatives – such as myself, back when I considered that label an adequate description of my convictions – have applauded President Jackson’s defiant, dismissive reaction to a Supreme Court decision he disdained: “That’s Mr. Marshall’s ruling. Now, let’s see him enforce it.” For me, that utterance lost its luster when I learned its context.

Rather than being a principled reaction to judicial activism, Jackson was expressing his dictatorial arrogance in setting at naught the Supreme Court’s finding that the federal government actually had to recognize the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation within its own territory, as well as the legal, moral, and constitutional obligation to honor treaties.

That 1832 ruling (Worcester v. Georgia), followed a previous decision (Cherokee Nation v. State of Georgia) in which Justice Marshall expressed tremendous sympathy for the besieged Indians, while pleading lack of jurisdiction to uphold their plea for a protective injunction. In Worcester, a group of Christian missionaries living on Cherokee land defied a Georgia law requiring whites to obtain a license in order to live on Indian lands. The Court upheld that claim, pointing out that states had no jurisdiction within Indian lands.

Jackson, with the eager support of Congress and Georgia legislators, simply ignored that ruling, and proceeded to enforce laws passed in 1828 that enabled the expropriation and expulsion of the Cherokees to Indian Territory – now known by an anglicized version of the name it was given by the Creeks, Okla Houma (“Red People”).

The spurious laws Jackson and his cronies had created, wrote Justice Marshall in the Cherokee Nation ruling, were designed “to annihilate the Cherokees as a political society and to seize, for the use of Georgia, the lands of the Nation which have been assured to them by the United States in solemn treaties repeatedly made and still in force.”

Marshall continued, in words that both recited and prefigured history:

“A people once numerous, powerful, and truly independent, found by our ancestors in the quiet and uncontrolled possession of an ample domain, gradually sinking beneath our superior policy, our arts and our arms, have yielded their lands by successive treaties, each of which contains a solemn guarantee of the residue, until they retain no more of their formerly extensive territory than is deemed necessary to their comfortable subsistence.”

And now the Cherokees, like many other Indian communities to come after them, were to be deprived of even that inadequate “residue” of their own lands.

Unfortunately, Marshall concluded, both the lack of jurisdiction and the uncontainable ambition of Jackson and his comrades made it impossible to protect the Indians from the rapacity of the federal government. “If it be true that wrongs have been inflicted, and that still greater are to be apprehended,” he lamented, “this is not the tribunal which can redress the past or prevent the future.”

In “Old Hickory’s” war of extermination against the Indians we find the definitive expression of what Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations calls the “Jacksonian” temperament, an attitude examined in depth in Read’s book Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World. “Jacksonians” are one of four dominant schools of thought identified by Mead, the other three being the “Hamiltonian,” “Wilsonian,” and “Jeffersonian” perspectives.

Hamiltonians, by Read’s assessment, pursue a foreign policy rooted in mercantilism – government-backed commercial and industrial expansion. Wilsonians are crusading multilateralists devoted to propagating democracy abroad and building transnational institutions. Jeffersonians are intensely skeptical of an interventionist foreign policy and institutional entanglements. Jacksonians, for their part, are bellicose nationalists who spurn multilateralism and have no use for big gub’mint – except when it’s engaged in what they regard as the worthy and ennobling business of slaughtering foreigners not inclined to take the American yoke.

Not surprisingly, given Mead’s CFR affiliation, he finds something of value in all of these schools of thought – except for the Jeffersonian perspective. Jacksonians may turn up their noses at the institutions the CFR has built with such guileful care, but they make excellent shock troops when it’s time to expand the empire, or to punish restive provinces thereof.

Jacksonians are over-represented in the military, particularly among the ground-pounders. Meanwhile, the Hamiltonians collect dividends on their Halliburton and KBR stock, and the Wilsonians attend posh diplomatic functions and sanctify the bloody business of empire by intoning the proper internationalist incantations.

What makes the Jacksonians so valuable, Mead observes, is their appetite for “eliminationist” warfare, as exemplified in the frontier wars against the Indians: “It was not enough [for Jacksonians] to defeat a tribe in battle; one had to `pacify’ the tribe, to convince it utterly and totally that resistance was and always would be futile and destructive.”

As Professor John Moser of Ashland University points out, the Jacksonian way of war always means “carrying the war to the civilian population” as a way of utterly defeating an enemy – including enemies whose only crime was to defend their own lands against Washington’s designs. This attitude is manifest today whenever conservatives (a better description would be “frenzied nationalists,” or even Lew Rockwell’s coinage, “Red State Fascists”) lament the inadequate savagery of Washington’s war in Iraq, or when such people casually endorse nuclear strikes against Iran or Saudi Arabia.

The cultural influence of contemporary Jacksonians appears to have peaked in 2006. Disillusionment with the Iraq War and with the Dear Leader seems to have encouraged a substantial number of defections from that camp. But we shouldn’t underestimate the potency or resiliency of the Jacksonian element, particularly if they have to spend the next four years steeping in resentment under the presidency of arch-Wilsonian Barack Obama.

Theme-Appropriate Video Extra

(Thanks to Scott Horton.)


*I first heard the story of the Talussahatche Massacre (not "battle," as some persist in describing it) from Billy Bob Thornton's version of Davy Crockett in the 2004 film The Alamo. At the time I suspected the reference to Jackson's men dining on charnel house potatoes was the depraved invention of a revisionist screenwriter. It isn't. See, for example, Gloria Jahoda's 1975 book Trail of Tears, pages 11-15.

On sale now at The Right Source.

Dum spiro, pugno!


Anonymous said...

"But we shouldn’t underestimate the potency or resiliency of the Jacksonian element, particularly if they have to spend the next four years steeping in resentment under the presidency of arch-Wilsonian Barack Obama."

Gee, Will, you make it sound like the luckless Jacksonians will be facing a harrowing dark night of the soul under Obama. Au contraire, my man! The Washington Post reports that Obama threw a succulent bone to the Jacksonians, during an address to a hundred Jewish community leaders in Cleveland:

"There is a hard core of jihadist fundamentalists who we can't negotiate with. We have to hunt them down and knock them out. Incapacitate them. That's the military aspects of dealing with this phenomenon. Now, somebody like a Richard Clarke would estimate that the hard-core jihadists would gladly blow up this room -- maybe it's 30,000 people, maybe it's 40,000 people, maybe it's 50,000 people. But it is a finite number. And that is where military action and intelligence has to be directed. So all the things I've talked about in the past -- improving our intelligence capacity, improving our alliances, rolling up financial support, improving our homeland security, making sure that we have strike forces that are effective -- that's all the military, intelligence, police work that's required."

So take heart, Will. Summarily offing 30,000 or 50,000 terrists by executive order ought to provide four years worth of gainful employment for a substantial cadre of Jacksonian shock troops.

Obama also has said that the half million dead in the War Between the States were well worth it, to "perfect the union":

"The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars."

So there may even be a chance to open up a can of Jacksonian whup-ass domestically, on those who are against us because they ain't with us.

Peace! (as it were)

William N. Grigg said...

Anonymous -- The Obama statements you mention are worth an update to this installment, or perhaps even an entire essay. I've actually been collecting some material regarding Obama's covert bellicosity.

My point at the close of this piece -- which may need a bit of sharpening -- is that Obama and his advisors (particularly the despicable Samantha Power) are very Wilsonian in their outlook, which is certainly a bloody disposition but still not sanguinary enough for the Jacksonians. Heck, they were frustrated with the Bush/Cheney regime for its refusal to annihilate the entire Middle East.

Now, if somehow John McCain becomes the next Emperor ... I suspect there will be enough bloodshed and domestic oppression to satisfy the depraved Jacksonian appetite.

Anonymous said...

Will, I quite agree that Obama's overall thrust is neo-Wilsonian.

It was shocking that in the same Cleveland speech where Obama made the valid point that pro-Likudnik and pro-Israel are not necessarily synonymous, he also gratuitously endorsed targeted assassinations.

Similarly, in his early and admirable Oct. 2002 speech against the Iraq War, Obama threw in his appalling remark about Lincoln's war being justified 'to perfect this union.' A half million lives lost in service of an abstract (and debatable) principle -- you can't get more Wilsonian than that!

Neo-Wilsonian foreign policy, conducted by scrappy Scots-Irish Jacksonian enforcers? Look no further than carrot-haired Prince Harry, in his American-flag cap emblazoned with the slogan, "We do bad things to bad people."

As both Democratic candidates pound the table for a chimerical "victory in Afghanistan," one can sense an "Obama doctrine" emerging, stressing the multinational NATO angle. The world must be made safe for democracy, brother.

Anonymous said...


My son just learned about Jackson's, the only good Indian is a dead Indian, policy in school. He attends an ACE school.

dixiedog said...

I infer from this piece, Will, and some of your others as well, that multiculturism and diversity, contrary to popular myth, is really a non-existent human trait. IOW, it's not human nature to embrace diversity and multiculturalism. Humanity was not created to be heterogeneous, but homogenous in terms of the social fabric and attendant associations, at least in this life. So, with the expansion of these so-called "united" states this kind of war criminality is not surprising. I have no doubt that the native Americans would have driven the settlers into the sea had the tables been turned and they had the numerical advantage and better weapons. As the various tribal conflicts testify to, Indians themselves were not very multicultural and diverse-minded. It's just human nature, after all.

Yes, there are so many "-ians" and -ists" in the crowd from every political, philosophical, ideological, and religious "-ism" in existence that it actually supports my increasing belief over the years that maybe America really is a hapless farrago that should've been doomed from the start. I think what you may be, unknowingly perhaps, conveying in some of your pieces is precisely that one culture will win out over another and one will submit or outright be dominated by another, either through outright slaughter, reproductive rates, indoctrination, or a combination of them all. There's simply no "middle ground" to be had. In any case, that certainly reflects human history for the most part. I'm kinda reminded of that timeless Bruce Hornsby tune "Just the Way It Is."

That said, as for the America experiment, Providence must have had a hand in America's continuing existence, yet if one is to take your portrayal and the other modern portrayals of American historical figures who are long gone seriously, then why did the original thirteen states even survive and, not only survive, but thrive and expand to these many "united" states of today, being that it was these very same historical figures - these war criminals, Jacksonians, Hamiltonians, Jeffersonians, et al - who were also, in many cases, some of the key figures helping to birth this nation and/or expand it? I'm stumped, to tell ya the truth. Perhaps, it's specifically the "expanders" that are the primary nefarious characters (i.e. the war criminals), then?

How do you choose whom to believe, Will, in the wildly differing descriptions and portrayals of historical events, as well as historical personages, that long predated our physical existence? As you mention, there's Hollyweird's no doubt dramaticized version by Billy Bob Thorton, there's deceased author Gloria Jahoda's version, and there's probably a multitude of others whose myriad versions could also contain truthful elements or not. There's a number of things I look at that can cause me to question one's sincerity about their "take" on a matter, person, or event: Are they native to the area of said event(s)? Were they participants themselves in said event, as the "thug" or "victim" as is generally understood (indoctrinated)? What is their background, their ideology, their philosophy, etc.

In fact, I'm often skeptical of many of those uttering the most (and loudest) noise about "racism" in general and calling folk "Racists!" in particular. If they live in a place like Moab, UT or Gillette, WY, I'm going to absolutely be payin' 'em no mind whatsoever because they obviously are clueless about race issues. I've worked in majority black work environments, lived in majority black neighborhoods in my time so when a pale whitey, who lives in a similar locale and they rarely even meet a black person on any given day, nevermind having lived and worked among a black majority, calls me a "racist" because I happen to oppose all minority set-asides, affirmative action, etc. I ignore their clueless rants.

Anyway, the point here is that ALL of these issues will "bend the mind" of people in some way and likewise molding and shaping that one's oral and/or written portrayal of events, people, and issues. It's generally called "bias" and every humanoid - ALL - possesses a good bit of it. As for me, I just don't hide my particular biases and slants as much as others strive to do. I simply say things like "Hollyweird" straight out to reveal my slants right off the get-go. I don't particular care for being deceptive.

Anyway, I'm beginning to think the whole history of America, indeed the world, is specious at best, in my opinion. I trust NO ONE to tell the truth about anything these days, even if they happen to hold a camera and are present at a given event in question. Never mind believing as gospel what someone, who's several generations removed from an event that they've chosen to surmise, claims about it. They can simply pick and choose (or make up for that matter) what they desire others to hear/read/see from their clapper, writings, or camera respectively. And half-truths are about as good as outright lies in my mind because those do nothing other than give people a faux picture or image of what is occurring or has occurred and the people who are/were significantly involved.

Ergo, this tendency to portray an event, be it historical or current and even happening in real time, in a specific light and slant it as much as is feasible to their "biased" viewpoint is going to always plague us. It's inevitable.

Nowadays, I take what anyone says about events and persons as a grain of salt, dependent upon how I interpret the aforementioned criteria. It's basically a "take it of leave it" proposition, in essence, as any portrayal inately possesses the primary purpose, stated overtly or not, of influencing other's views of the historical matter(s) or person(s) under discussion. And, as I've always thought concerning Wikipedia's ludicrous "neutral" POV policy, for example, a so-called "neutral" point of view about anything, other than easily verified "in your face" truths, is a nonexistent fantasy, a lie in effect. There will ALWAYS be a slant, or an angle, tied to to a given portrayal. As some say, "the 'winners' write the history." True to some extent, but also I believe that "the 'losers' generations later inevitably revise the history." Both are equally specious. Perhaps, the absolute truth of any given matter in question is somewhere in the middle of those extremes.

Today, information and clueless rant overload is pandemic with the Internet being virtually ubiquitous. It's definitely more difficult today to get the pertinent and most critical facts (with minimal slant) about some issues and events than it was in the pre-Internet era, unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

More on the emerging 'Obama doctrine' from the U.K. Sunday Times:


Obama intends to pour more troops and resources into defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan.

He told The Sunday Times he would expect European allies to contribute more to the fight. “You can’t have a situation where the United States and Britain are called on to do the dirty work and nobody else wants to engage in actual fire-fights with the Taliban.”

He praised Prince Harry’s “commendable” service - “I’m sure the British people are very proud of him” - and said America would have a “special, special relationship” with Britain should he win the White House. “That’s inviolable,” he said.

Europe, he added, would get something in return for an extra push in Afghanistan. “It’s important for us to send a signal that we’re going to be listening to them when it comes to policies they find objectionable, Iraq being top of the list.”


The Taliban are the 21st century analogue to Jackson's 19th century Creeks and Choctaws -- the mere label is regarded as justifying their summary execution. Old Hickory would understand, though he would also have the horse sense not to get embroiled in a fight halfway round the world.

Anonymous said...

The indians killed were filthy savages who deserved death. They slaughtered and raped and tortured thousands of whites. Jackson was one of if not the best US president. Wilson was a filthy traitor getting us into WWI while promising never to do so. He presided over the creation of the Fed, Income Tax, Inheritance Tax and selection of senators by direct vote. Obama should go back to Kenya where he belongs.

Anonymous said...

Except for the fact that he wasn't born in Kenya. So it would be hard to say that he belongs there.

Dauvit Balfour said...

@ anonymous...

Are you serious? You... you can't be... I think you are. Shame upon us for letting the government run schools indoctrinate are children to think as you do. Despite all the atrocities committed by Indian warriors, there is never, in any war, under any circumstances, any excuse for the wholesale slaughter of civilian women and children. This is true of the Indian wars, it is true of the women and children who were burned in the bombing of Dresden, it is true of Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, the Iraqi civilians whom we are currently murdering, and of any other military action perpetrated upon civilians. America has been one of the greatest perpetrators of war crimes in its time, but because we win, they are not recorded.

There, that was my say, I'll omit the detailed discussion of your ancestry, hygiene, morals, and personal habits lest Mr. Grigg find it too disgusting to allow.


Anonymous said...


There are many diverse "paradises", such as Turkey or Brazil. I suspect there was a lot of variety in the American Indians, as they probably came from all over at different times. Of course, racial relations can be bad, but nothing compared to genocide.

It's certainly the truth that primitive peoples have not fared well when an advanced culture came in and wanted something, which is a big part of the history of the world for the last few hundred years. Even the history of American Jim Crow was nothing compared to what the Indians faced.

Many minorities can be, or have to be, bought off, but primitive peoples haven't fit into the profit system of the West. If you can't buy the land, and you don't have any reason to cut down the forests, where's the money to be made?

Anonymous said...

I find the anonymous comment about Indians "deserving" of death to be absurdly ironic.

Coming from any aggressor, simply swapping names, skin color and eras, you can mix and match such verbal vomit to justify anything by anyone at any time.

Using such pretzel logic Mr. Anonymous would have to welcome his own violent end as being the natural course of events and dispense with all of the phony teeth gnashing.

That is, of course, if he or she has the courage to admit as much.

Anonymous said...

Dixie... I have to appreciate the amount of effort you've taken time and again to leave posts in response to Wills blogging but I'm constantly left with the impression that you're saying, ultimately, "Why bother". In which case why should he waste time bringing these and so many other outrages to the fore? Or, more importantly, why do you bang out a response? I'm not trying to bag on you but you have to wonder that if we know how human nature operates, and that history is full of lies and inaccuracies, just how are we to maintain any moral compass? If we meekly ignore evil and accept it as being "just the way it is" without the energy necessary to rise about the refuse of an evil world, then we'll be swept under, nameless and unsung, by an ever increasing tide of lies.

dixiedog said...

willie: There are many diverse "paradises", such as Turkey or Brazil. I suspect there was a lot of variety in the American Indians, as they probably came from all over at different times. Of course, racial relations can be bad, but nothing compared to genocide.

I like those "scare" quotes, BTW, willie. I mean that in a good way, that there really, REALLY are no REAL paradises on this planet. Life can be, and often is, hellish at least some of the time no matter where you reside on the planet. But, no need for extrapolation of that point for those here I'm sure ;).

I must emphasize since it appears you didn't grasp a critical aspect that one of my main points in my admittedly loooong comment was who are you goin' to believe about historical events, people, wars, etc.? Unless any one of us were a literal eyewitness and our motives are pure, which is questionable at best concerning any source, it's all about trust. I've got history books that predate my grandmother's birth (1909) and before the Panama Canal was finished (1914) that mention the Fort Mims massacre and the murder of 500 men, women, and children in 1813. Was that true or not? I obviously do not know. It's obviously true that Ft. Mims, being a fort (doh!), was a military outpost as Will describes, but it still wouldn't excuse the murder of women and children therein. Again, who do you believe to be telling the absolute truth about these events?? Hmmm, your guess is as good as mine, willie. In 1814, at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend hundreds of Creeks were slaughtered as "the answer given by the white people to the awful murder of five hundred men, women, and children committed by the Indians, a year before, at Fort Mims in southern Alabama." That quote is from Beginner's History of the United States: Stories of the men who made our country by Henry Alexander White, M.A., PH.D., D.D. formerly a professor of history at Washington and Lee University. This particular book was a 4th grade level history book, as it was one my grandmother had when she was in 4th grade (~1918). So what? That's beside the point. The key point here: was this book biased? I'm most certain that it was. As I said, and I'll always say it, there will ALWAYS be a slant or an angle to someone's "take" on events and people. Again, as the Hornsby tune goes, "That's just the way it is."

Will seems to want to quietly convey the message that some folk tell the "absolute truth" about historical events and people. And those folks' account he happens to so abide in, or trust, as the absolute truth in explaining or portraying an historical event or personage will back his philosophical, ideological, or religious angle or slant as much as possible. I don't discount Will for that trait, as ugly as it can sometimes be, as we all possess it to various degrees. The bottom line is that we will tend to believe wholeheartedly the accounts given that match our particular philosophical/ideological/religious slants and nuances more than others. That's human nature, willie.

And I'm not denying that any of the myriad accounts given by various sources about various events and people over the centuries are wrong. However, I will say that half-truths are about as good as lies in terms of their ill effect on people's minds in how they subsequently view those events and people.

dixiedog said...

mot: Dixie... I have to appreciate the amount of effort you've taken time and again to leave posts in response to Wills blogging but I'm constantly left with the impression that you're saying, ultimately, "Why bother".

Yes, I understand that kind of thinking, mot, as I also think sometimes, "Why bother" when I read yet another piece that appears to destroy any positive reasoning for why America even exists! If many of the founding and heroic American icons are, as some loudly claim, "war criminals" and other colorful descriptors, then there should be virtually no opposition against bashing America totally in the indoctrination centers, otherwise known as the public skew system. And not just modern America or the last half of the 20th century, but its entire history. The entire reasoning for its existence in the first place is highly questionable if all these detestable tales of the past figures are absolutely true and are the complete truth of the event. If I was one who believed all of these latter-day portrayals, yes, I'd be one who would say, "Why bother! The faster this 'thing' called America crashes and burns, the better! There's no logical reason for it to exist in the first place!!" But I don't...

In which case why should he waste time bringing these and so many other outrages to the fore?

mot, Will can do what he pleases and he can, and does, bring all sorts of outrages to the fore. In fact, he brings nothing but outrages to the fore ;). It just depends on one's view on just what constitutes the "outrage." I agree with Will on a lot of issues because I see just what he appears to see in many cases, but he can extrapolate those visions and views and bring attention to the details buried below the surface better than most.

Or, more importantly, why do you bang out a response?

Hmm, I'm beginning to question myself about that too. I guess I like to contribute my two-pence worth of noise to the swirling issues as well as the next person.

I'm not trying to bag on you but you have to wonder that if we know how human nature operates, and that history is full of lies and inaccuracies, just how are we to maintain any moral compass?

It's difficult, but there has to be some sources you absolutely believe to be inerrant. For me, I believe the Bible to be inerrant (though not all translations) because it was given through inspiration of the Holy Spirit by over 40 men over centuries of time, not mere man's wacky visions and the attendant egoism. As for everything else, as I said earlier, it's a "take it or leave it proposition" in that each one has to determine to their own satisfaction for themselves what sources are true, false, a mishmash of both, or even half-truths where what's presented is true, but it's not the full truth; there are omissions. As the Word makes clear: partial obedience is disobedience. Likewise, I also look at half-truths as false since those inevitably characterize an event, personage, or what have you falsely in the mind of the hearer, reader, and/or observer. Remember, mot, anyone these days can do "Forrest Gump" manipulations with video and so even that cannot be trusted as gospel.

If we meekly ignore evil and accept it as being "just the way it is" without the energy necessary to rise about the refuse of an evil world, then we'll be swept under, nameless and unsung, by an ever increasing tide of lies.

I agree, mot, and that's a conundrum I can't get an acceptable explanation for as well. The only thing I can come up with is that we should rise against the evil in the world, but then we should also expect, not only expect but embrace, persecution. If you're floating on Cloud 9 through life with no hardships and persecution, then perhaps it's time for a little self-reflection. I've had and am enduring hardships right now myself, but I've so far avoided persecution in the absolute truest sense of the word. But then I'm not married, have no children, and so my exposure is limited somewhat if you know what I mean. But, nevertheless, I'm reaching the end of the line for tolerance, especially when mandates are involved prohibiting us from doing what God expects of His saints. That's when one's true colors has to shine overtly and brightly, and suffer the consequences accordingly, or ever be put to shame and prove you're fake, all show, and no bite.

Anonymous said...

Dixie, once again I appreciate your articulate comments. It is indeed one of the hardest things in the world to maintain objectivity with regards to the historical record as time itself will render it harder and harder to pin down. Just try to get an accurate story for some incident that happened at the local beer joint the night before and you'll know what I mean.

Living in this evil and fallen world is far "easier" in many ways than its ever been, for us at least, but therein also lies the temptation to complacently accept as normal what is not. Also, the all to easy and lazy habit in accepting too much at face value. Still that comes down in large part to a matter of who do you trust. In so many ways we should be like the Bereans.

Anonymous said...

I believe the original American tribes should be referred to as 'Meso-Americans', since 'Indians' are actually from India, and 'native Americans' can also be those with African, Asian or European ancestry, many of whom have ancestors who've lived on this continent for hundreds of years. Collectively, the Creek, Apache, Sioux, Hopi and Cherokee tribes, just to name a few, are Meso-Americans. I like the sound of that. What do you all think? Is that a better description for the original American tribes?
William Grigg is, himself, Meso-American, so you can't get more American than that! Ergo, Grigg personifies true Americanism in body, mind and soul! I nominate Chief "Big Bear" Grigg (He IS big and physically powerful at 5'11" and 275 lbs., and who is an adept Greco-Roman wrestler, so wrestling him would be like wrestling a bear!) as our leader to lead us back to the principles of freedom, federalism, limited government and constitutional republicanism!
Come on, let's go!

Robert Kaercher said...

William: Bravo on this post!

Andrew Jackson was indeed a war criminal. It may all be well and good that he opposed the Bank of the United States, but if the price of that principled opposition was his self-anointed privilege to slaughter who-knows-how-many innocent men, women and children, then he certainly has no place on my list of libertarian heroes.

Jay said...

If I may be so bold as to interject a comment into this fascinating dialog....

This has to be one of the most thought-provoking discussions I've ever read anywhere. I just couldn't resist the urge to congratulate and thank you folks for sharing your obviously well-considered and articulately presented thoughts. Very inspiring indeed!

As for my two cents on this topic -- While it may be nearly impossible to determine the absolute truth about most historical events including, as mot points out, even what happened last week, it is still valuable to at least try to sort out important issues and characters from the past as they come to our attention in order to formulate our perspective in the present tense. This particular bit of history IS important today precisely because it forces us to contemplate where we came from and also helps us establish our own personal lines in the sand here and now. I agree with dixiedog that there is indeed a time rapidly approaching when we will have to put up or shut up. For example, will we allow ourselves and our families to be herded into some FEMA camp to get our daily allowance of bread and water if it comes to that, or will we take responsibility for ourselves and say no thank you? The historical record inevitably shapes all of us to varying degrees (and vice versa), but this process is ongoing. Surely all of you have had the experience of watching as your own opinion about this or that was altered by new evidence or information. If your world view is not in a constant state of flux, ESPECIALLY now that you have vast amounts of unfiltered information at your fingertips via the web, then you've got to wonder why. A line from an old 60's song goes "...a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest". Sadly, this is true for many but not for all, and therein lies some hope for the future. In my unabashed opinion, there is a constant war raging on this planet for the souls of its inhabitants. It is our obligation, our duty, to gird ourselves for this battle on a daily basis and give it our all. One way to do that is to expose ourselves to viewpoints which may rub the fabric of our intricately woven world view the wrong way. We need to allow our preconceived notions to be challenged precisely because of the enormity of what's at stake and because of the incredible determination it will take to stand our ground when our most deeply held convictions are tested. If in the process of living we unearth some nugget of truth that has been hidden (either deliberately by diabolical conspirators or simply by the passage of time), then we must allow it to change us AND then we need to alert others to our discovery. The only thing we can do about the despicable Trail Of Tears saga today is learn from it and let it strengthen our resolve not to let something like that to happen to US if we ever find our liberty or dignity being systematically stripped from us by a despot or his / her minions.

Thanks again for the insights presented. Since I just today discovered this blog, I look forward to poking around on some of the other threads. One thing is for sure... I will never look at a twenty dollar fiat note the same way again!

Anonymous said...

"The truth is not somthing many really want to know .First of all let's talk jacksonian in tuth.Who really had weapons of mass destruction 400 years ago , and today.
We as a native American people or Indian, as people may want to call us. We are one race of people who never went to war with any other country as tribe's. Only the war that was brought to us was while we were standing on our own ground.
The Euorpean of "some" white's fought with every nation in Euorpe and Africa before the parliament that stands today as a part of the claim Royal Monarch, who's history is viking war's of plunder.
They have step foot on every nation's ground,trying to plunder all the riches in this world.Why do you think so many all over this world speak english.
The old man Bush Sr. said the Iraq's are standing on our oil.
In 1820's in west virginia was the brith place our oil wars.
Jackson new also of gold in the south , and said, the Indians are standing on our gold.
Passed downd through generations of thses people, many hundreds of flagged wars for plunder, they claim to all ,tourism from somone was the cause.Tourism was the cause but who is causing it is the real question?
Read how Bush's Grandfather help Hitler a jew rise to power,sound strang ,how about Obama getting all his money. BUSH SAID
McClain is president - News
Interim President David McClain was appointed permanent system president yesterday afternoon. McClain has been interim system president for nearly two years ... 08/News/Mcclain.Is.President-2796297.shtml - 35k - WOW WHO KNEW

The people who fight in these war's are all ready manipulated as a mental short cut of arrange techniques,through propaganda ,shrewd and deviously Rich goverment controlled industries such as the CIA, FBI, and our truly manipulated boy's,and now grils today. How you say maniputate? The word is kept them (poor). They say I just need a job,I need health insurance ,I need schooling . So the rich INVENT THE STOCK MARKET bring down the stock market and give bad loans and take away jobs and home's.You must blame someone, and so now its all in place,wait I forgot the flagging thats the real kicker ,getting back to jacksonian, I am not saying that native's did not kill whites, but did anyone ever know that Jackson and his cronies had whites dress as indains and kill their own.Well I as a native I can tell you truth,for it was our own Cousin who had to sign us away to save some of us ,so we went were ever!My mother's people were removed 6 times in this America....My father's people were apart the trail's of tears and truth is, they really had to walk all the way ,The soldiers had a hores , not my people.....


Read the Spanish Inquistion ,talk about jews and arabs getting killed and

What did the jews have that german's wanted.These people did not have any weapons to fight german people ,young german people were feed propaganda , so jews were removed and, were mass murdered for gold ,diamonds ,art and many other things such as inventions.
They remove you and strip you of your god given names and lands,so that you cannot come back and claim anyting they took...

BECAUSE YOU WIL BE TO POOR...or war will really come to us....

OUR MONEY IS LOANED TO US BY 4 RICH FAMILIES .Our president JFK SIGN AWAY THE FERDERAL RESERVE, AND IT SANDS ON RECORED TO DAY.. Our Congress needs to sued for with held information for the good of its people..........

Don't ever underestimate the Jacksonian devious control today.
The short cut techniques are alive and well in this country Sept 11 TH IS A TRUTH NO ONE WILL EVER BEAR HEARING...


Anonymous said...

Dixedog, I do not think that the Trail of Tears is as much a multi-cultural issue as it might seem. Many of the Cherokee were trying their best to live the era's version of the American dream. They dwelled in the same type housing as whites, practiced plantation agriculture, owned slaves, developed a written language, and published a newspaper. Their goal was to assimilate into white culture. The question becomes were they removed because they were too different or because they were becoming too much alike?

Jesse said...

Greetings to all who have read this. I am the person who made the video that was linked to this site. Thanks for the link. I have a few comments. 1. Jackson was a money grabing killer. 2. The Cherokee were the most intergrated of all the nations. They were the first to have a written language. 3. IT was the attacks and forced starvation that made many Native Americans attack. Also, the Meso-American comment. You need to take an anthropology class. Again thank you.

Your President said...

Jackson was against the use of paper money. What a befitting punishment to have his image forever captured on something he was so opposed to. From now until kingdom come his image and I believe his soul / spirit will be forever capture on these notes and tormented each time a twenty dollar note is used. If you look at the image you will see a misshapen head attached to a twisted body. It's not a "dead president" but more like a mongoloid headed president.


Anonymous said...

This was an extremely well written and informative essay, but I found some of the comparisons to modern day government pretty extreme. Comparing Jackson's regime to any administration in the past 50 years is apples and oranges. It's like comparing Mussolini to Julius Ceasar. We've evolved since then. No modern American president has supported genocide or ethnic cleansing. We are not expelling and killing an entire people to build cities and look for gold. Iraq will not be our next state... but I digress: I live in South Florida and believe it or not, there are Native Americans to this day who will not accept or use a $20 because Andrew Jackson is depicted on it.

Angry Man In The Basement said...

I disagree. I think history such as described in the essay...and history as in the story of Tecumseh, is basically repeating itself with Iraq--but the problem is, is that many people are too far in denial to see it, or, reason away the occupancy with all kinds of altruistic noble overtones. While what happened in the past may not quite be exactly the same as what is happening today--the result is very similar--an unwanted people occupying someone else's land. People in the past rationalized their motives, and they will do it to date.

Angry Man In The Basement said...

I just want to comment that I wonder why it is so difficult for many Americans to even fathom for one second, that their leaders, men of power, are any less prone to doing the same 'evil' things we are quick to accuse leaders of other nations of doing.

I think our leaders are just masters at hiding the bad deeds of greed---much like the rich bratty jock kid in high school gets away with knocking up the poor girl--and instead, has the image and support in the community to make it look like the girl was just trashy.

Is the reason that so many of us will not entertain the ideas that our leaders can be every bit as ruthless as people we have been conditioned to think are the bad guys because most of us will not stop..look..listen..step outside of the box for second and take a look back inside at ourselves..this time through the eyes of others in this world? Is it because we only see one side in the media?

Perhaps....I had to go overseas to discover I found out more about what was really going on in the US on foreign news channels than I ever learned here!

The dismissive attitude of denial all comes with the territory of self righteousness and arrogance.

More Americans need to get a passport, travel, and learn that their is an entire 'rest of the world' out there beyond our borders..and not everyone agrees with how we think life should be lived or agrees with what most of us have been conditioned to think freedom is, because our freedom may be another's prison. If you cannot travel, then buy a globe.

Don't you know that we are the only country in the world..and in world history that has never done anything wrong??? ;-)

Kieran said...

Removal itself was likely inevitable, although the manner in which it was carried out was not. It is without a doubt a terrible tragedy but if someone wants to put all of that blame on one man who believed he was doing what was best for both the natives and the whites(Jackson believed that they could not live together peacefully), they are somewhat mistaken IMHO.