Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Policy of Genocide

The British settlers in the 13 North American colonies were organized into militias during the century and a half before those militias united into an army that established the independent United States. The militias had only one function: Kill Indians or drive them away in order to take their land.

Actually, the British authorities attempted to limit the settlers’ incursion on Indian lands, particularly following the Treaty of Paris that ended the “French-Indian” war (7 Years War in Europe) in 1760, when the British agreed to a line marking its colonial holdings along the coast and agreed to prevent settlement beyond the Appalachian/Allegheny mountain chain, leaving the rest of the continent as Indian Country. This was one of the primary reasons for the settlers’ decision to separate from Britain to form their own continental empire.

By the time of the War of Independence, tens of thousands of settlers illegally crossed the mountain barrier into the Ohio Valley. Those settlers, mostly Scots-Irish, formed the backbone of the army of independence led by George Washington, himself a lifelong colonial officer. This kind of colonial warfare formed the purpose and goals of the U.S. military after independence, what historian William Appleman Williams called a policy of “annihilation unto unconditional surrender,” a policy that has remained in effect. This is by definition a policy of genocide.

--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

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