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by Larry S. Rolirad Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2005 at 6:54 PM

The comparisons between Iraq's past human rights violations are stunningly similar to the human rights violations practiced in the United States. How can the United States take the moral high ground on the international stage when they have never atoned for their sins against their fellow man in their own history?


by Larry S. Rolirad

What if the United States was invaded and occupied by a foreign military force? What if another country didn't like our leader and they used their superior army, navy, and air force to invade our country to remove him? What if another country invaded us because we have 1,000,000 times the stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons than all the other countries in the world combined? How do you think Americans would react if we were occupied by a foreign military?

And what if the United States was invaded by a foreign force in 1839 when our country was at the same stage of evolution as Iraq is today? What if the US was attacked because the invading country did not like the fact that President Andrew Jackson had ordered the genocide of tens of thousands of American Indians. What if the US was invaded because another country didn't like the way human rights violations were commonplace against Native Americans, blacks, and women? In just one ruthless move, President Jackson sent 4,000 Cherokee men, women, children, elderly, infants, and fetuses to their deaths.

President Jackson ordered Cherokees arrested and dragged from their homes and driven by bayonet point into the stockades. They were then loaded like cattle into six hundred and forty-five wagons and sent west, just like Hitler ordered the Jews loaded onto cattle cars to be exterminated. Most of the Native Americans who were forced on trains died from extreme exposure to freezing temperatures. Ninety tribes, in addition to the Cherokee, were removed from their rightful homes to the Indian Territory, now Kansas and Oklahoma. President Jackson even ordered smallpox-infected blankets to be given to unsuspecting Native Americans which killed them by the tens of thousands. The similarities between the abuses of human beings by Andrew Jackson, Adolph Hitler, and Saddam Hussein are striking.

Eight years earlier, in 1831, the Supreme Court of the United States, with the decision rendered by Justice John Marshall, declared the forced removal of the entire Cherokee Nation from their ancestral homes to be illegal, unconstitutional, and against US treaties made with the Cherokee Nation. President Andrew Jackson, having the executive responsibility for enforcement of the laws, had this to say: "John Marshall has made his decision; let him enforce it now if he can." Jackson disregarded treaties and laws and deliberately ordered the genocide of American Indians from ninety different tribes. President Jackson's total disregard for the rights of the 90 tribes, the law, and treaties puts him on the same level as Saddam Hussein, who also had a total disregard for the Kurds, other factions of his country, UN Resolutions, and the law. Saddam Hussein callously and ruthlessly ordered the genocide of the Kurds, and others in Iraq. Hussein ordered the Kurds gassed to death by the thousands during President George H.W. Bush's presidency.

What would you do if our country was invaded in the early 19th century because another country didn't condone our practice of slavery? What if that country wanted to remove our president from office because he was pro-slavery? Just what is the difference between President Jackson's willful murdering of tens of thousands of American Indians or other US presidents in his time who were pro-slavery, and what Saddam Hussein did to his people? At least Saddam didn't support or participate in slavery as American leaders did.

I am not supporting Saddam Hussein, but when you compare the evolution of Iraq to that of our own country you must see the similarities. Should Saddam Hussein be tried? Certainly. Convicted? Certainly. But so should President Jackson, and other US presidents who supported slave trade of Africans and genocide of the Indian Tribes of North America.

What would you do if you lived in the early 19th century and you became aware of the atrocities committed by President Jackson? Would you support him or would you support an invading army from another nation who wanted to stand up for the oppressed in our country? This is the same dilemma that the present day Iraqis are facing. Should they fight for their own sovereignty or succumb to a foreign force's mandates?

Our country is now guilty of invading two foreign countries in the past three years. Does anyone expect the citizens of those countries to just lie down and not strike back? A great deal of Americans would strike back at any foreign military presence in the United States. They would call it patriotism. And they would be right, at least partially so.

US citizens would not tolerate being occupied by a foreign country. I believe it is the height of arrogance for US citizens to expect other invaded countries to be totally submissive to their invaders. We should not expect militants in Iraq or Afghanistan to just give up. To think otherwise is foolhardy. The Bush regime knew this fact. But they never said a word about the actual effort that we would have to invest there. They never told the citizens of the United States that there would be large numbers of troop casualties. They were being dishonest. They lied by omission. And their lies are not about the meaning of the word "is" is, or if someone had a private, consensual sexual affair. Their lies led to an unnecessary war, and the deaths of 1902 US soldiers (so far) and the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq. If lying about a private sexual matter between consenting adults is an impeachable offense, then lying that led to illegitimate wars and the deaths of more than a thousand of our service men and women is not only an impeachable offense, but it is also traitorous. But where is the republican outrage?

If our country was invaded, the foreign force would be met with force from millions of Americans. We would use every opportunity to strike back at them. If you are honest with yourself you would admit that you would be one of our country's defenders. And you would use deadly force to protect your country. So how can anyone believe that certain segments of the Iraqi population would not fight back against us, the invading military? There wouldn't be much difference between the hundreds of militia groups in the US and the 'insurgents' in Iraq. Our revolutionary colonialists who fought against England were also considered insurgents by King George. It is unfortunate that republicans are incapable of seeing the parallels between our country's revolutionary fighters and those in Iraq who are doing what they can to defend their country from foreign occupiers.

The Bush regime certainly knew of the propensity for massive resistance from the Iraqi people. If they didn't know, then they were completely incompetent and should have been removed from office. But President Bush, and everyone in his regime, chose to keep the risk of massive resistance a secret. They knew that if they were honest with the American people that we would have denounced Bush's plans for war. Bush lied to us. Cheney lied to us. Powell lied to us. Rice lied to us. Rumsfeld lied to us. They choose instead to continue to milk the fear and the wave of mutant patriotism from the 9-11-01 attacks to manipulate people. The Bush regime is the most dishonest administration in our country's history.

There is not a lot of difference between what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurds and other indigenous peoples in Iraq, and what US presidents, such as Andrew Jackson did under his reign. Just as in Iraq, Native Americans and blacks were first demonized and described as less than human as justification for their persecution and murders in the United States. The comparisons between Iraq's past human rights violations are stunningly similar to the human rights violations practiced in the United States. How can the United States take the moral high ground on the international stage when they have never atoned for their sins against their fellow man in their own history?

Copyright 2005, Larry S. Rolirad, All Rights Reserved

This article may be republished as long as the author is clearly credited.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 10 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
We can only hope... @ Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005 at 2:06 AM
Oh yeah... yawn... Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005 at 6:23 AM
Its already happening scorpion Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005 at 7:00 AM
invasion Meyer London Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005 at 9:40 AM
Scorpion is clueless Meyer London Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005 at 9:44 AM
This is sad... scorpion Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005 at 2:28 PM
legally recognized Meyer London Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 5:56 AM
yeah, I know Sheepdog Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 6:18 AM
As I suspected scorpion Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 1:31 PM
Keep to the issue. Meyer London Friday, Sep. 16, 2005 at 2:01 PM

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