15 July 2006

Fire and Night (II -- The Nature of the Dark Knight)


Except for the street in which I live, all of the north-south streets in the eldritch district of Daugavpils where I make my home are named after cities -- Warsaw, Kaunas, Ventspils, Dobele, Jelgava, Hrodna, Tukums, Liepāja, Valka (after which come Labor Street and Beyond-the-City Street, even as "the Chemistry" is now beyond the Beyond...).

Names in what is still in some sense "Eastern Europe" (though the center of Europe is arguably near the village of Purnuškės, geographically, not so very far down the road -- note that it hosts "the world's largest sculpture made out of TV sets, now partially collapsed") are notoriously riddled with a politics as unbreathable as our history; the best known Latvian example would be that of Brīvības iela, Freedom Street, in the capital -- it has borne the names of Lenin, Hitler, and Alexander II.

A dreary street in Rīga has gone from the cosmonauts to Dzhokhar Dudayev, the late Chechen leader, to the fury of many and to the inspiration of National Bolsheviks and others with a fondness for spray paint (the Natsbols have decorated my district with the name of Stalin -- СТАЛИН, the "A" circled for anarchy... don't ask them to reconcile these concepts; a clear conception is not their strong suit).

My street, between Warsaw and Kaunas Streets and formerly Vilnius Street (the various names of which city also unfailingly lead to somebody's apoplexy -- just as the many names of Daugavpils do) was renamed after Andrejs Pumpurs in the interbellum. Pumpurs wrote the epic poem Lāčplēsis. Arthur Cropley, who has translated the work into English, quotes the folklorist and literary critic Jāzeps Rudzītis: “there is no other work in Latvian literature whose story has penetrated mass consciousness as deeply or resounded as richly in literature and art as The Bearslayer.” In politics, too -- when the Bank of Latvia issued a silver coin to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of "the time of the barricades," the image chosen was that of the Bearslayer brought forward in time. 11 November 1919, the night the combined Russian and German forces under Bermondt-Avalov were driven from the outskirts of Rīga (in many ways the day when the Latvian nation-state was really born), is still marked as Bearslayer's Day.

Andrejs Pumpurs lived around the corner from our house, traveling as far afield as China in his work as a quartermaster for the Tsar's army. In addition to Lāčplēsis, he penned poems like "Austrums un Rietrums" ("East and West”):

Austrums laida brīvas tautas
Saules zemi piepildīt,
Tiesības tām bija ļautas
Pašām sevi pārvaldīt.

"The East freed nations to attain the land of the sun. They were granted the right to self-rule.”

Rietrums viņas sagaidīja,
Ķēdes rokā turēdams,
Verdzībā tās ieslodzīja,
Dzimtskārtību ievezdams...

"The West awaited them bearing chains in its hands, locking them into slavery and introducing serfdom..."

Arī mūsu latvju tauta
Cietusi caur Rietrumu --
Kamēr vēl neilgi glābta
Tika tā caur Austrumu.

"Our Latvian nation also suffered due to the West -- until only recently it was rescued by the East."

The historian Arveds Švābe used "Austrums un Rietrums" to illustrate his appraisal of Valdemārs' Slavophilia, pointing out that not only Russian writers and thinkers like Dostoevsky and Tyutchev were carried away by the promise of Russia saving Europe from materialism and atheism -- some of the Young Latvians were as well.

I don't know much about Estonian history, but Stanley Page in The Formation of the Baltic States (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1959) quotes a letter by Jakobson to Koidula: "From the Russians we have nothing to fear. Whatever we bear from them is but one-tenth the burden of Germans we drag on our backs." The letter is from 1870 -- the same year the above poem by Pumpurs was written -- and the line echoes Valdemārs' dictum, "the Russian kulak cannot be as dangerous as the Germans' nails of flint." Page writes that though some Estonian writers were profoundly influenced by Russian literature (Tamm and Tammsaare), "Estonian disenchantment with Russia grew rapidly in the wake of Russification. If, prior to 1914, the disillusionment did not result in a concerted nationalist striving, it is because, as in Latvia, the class struggle divided the nation."

But regarding Pumpurs' "Austrums un Rietrums" and the transformation of Pumpurs' myth by Rainis, I would direct the Latvian reader to Jānis Rudzītis, whose little "essay with a tendency," "The Ethnicity of the Dark Knight" (in vol. XVII of Rainis' Raksti in the 1965 Ziemeļblāzma edition) ties together various strands of thought on the Russia-facing face. The Dark Knight in Rainis' Uguns un nakts (Fire and Night) derives, of course, from Pumpurs' Lāčplēsis, in which epic that sinister figure is indisputably, obviously German (Lielus pulkus bruņenieku / Alberts bija atvedis /Atkal Rīgā un no jauna / Kaŗu uzsākt rīkojās. / Viņa pulkā tagad radās / Ar kāds tumšais bruņenieks, / Kuŗš daudz gadus vācu zemē / Laupīdams bij dzīvojis...).

Media of a particular complexion have recently taken to pointing to these 19th C Russophiles, with Pravda publishing Yuri Klitsenko's article on "the Image of Crusaders in Latvian culture" ("You, German, son of demon, why have you come to our land?") and Aleksandr Gurin, writing for the website of Latvia's "Russian party," ZaPCHEL, striving to suggest that the Slavophilia of the First Awakening could make a comeback. In "Pirmās latviešu Atmodas varonis uzstājās par krievu skolām" ("The hero of the first Latvian National Awakening supported Russian schools"), Gurin suggests that Russia's economic resurgence will allow it to catch up with the West in a couple of decades, possibly seducing Latvia once again.

Gurin's perspective exhibits a stunning ignorance of the factors that have affected Latvia's shifting faces. His sweeping view of Latvian-Russian relations conveniently omits what Latvians have suffered from the East -- the Dark Knight ceases to be a symbol of the German already in Rainis' Fire and Night. The Russia many of the Young Latvians looked to was to be free (Pumpurs, for instance, participated in secret meetings of the Narodnaya Volya), just as the key to the "Free Latvia in a Free Russia" for which the Riflemen would later fight was freedom and democracy.

Akurāters, an almost clairvoyant writer and revolutionary (1876-1937), reflected on his notes from the 1905 Revolution in 1924 (the passages below were censored during the occupation, probably in 1946; the censors had to evaluate the "level of danger" for works in sealed collections). My rough translation:

"Gallows, castles and prisons. Lo, damned dark Russia!...

"A country where the lungs of the citizens have never breathed freely and openly, where every thought must rot in the brain, where millions and millions of bright, genial thoughts cannot be expressed but only rot, where everything that is beautiful is crushed before its time and ends up in graveyards. Yes, nowhere but in graveyards.

"How strange it is that rereading my notes now, in 1924, I must bear witness to the same. With its last revolution in 1918, Russia has not moved forward by a hair's breadth. Only backwards, it seems."

Jānis Rudzītis, a remarkably astute critic, examines the history of the Dark Knight in performances of Rainis' Fire and Night -- indeed, the Knight traditionally appears in the garb of a German Crusader. He's been seen as symbolizing blind instinct, capitalism, etc. The Baltic Germans detested both Rainis and the play, and during the Nazi occupation Rudzītis had a conversation with a censor who says "we well know what Latvians mean by the Dark Knight."

Rudzītis asks -- "But do we?" The usual portrayal simply does not gel with Rainis' text:

Es nāku no tatāriem,
Visas zemes tie min zirgu pakaviem,

Tā tevi un latvjus es samīšu

Un gaismas pils gaismu dzēsīšu!


"I come from the Tatars, / They trample all lands beneath their horses' feet, / And so shall I trample you and the Latvians / And extinguish the light in the castle of light!"

Rainis, not at all a bigot (he was instrumental in founding Latvia's Belarusian schools and did not even hate the Baltic Germans, though he despised their reactionary politics), does not mean that the Dark Knight is an ethnic Tatar. He means that the figure represents the threat from the East.

So it is that Rainis, who appeared on a commemorative Soviet ruble and was lionized by the Soviets, is providing an antithesis -- ex oriente obscuritas -- for Pumpurs' thesis, ex oriente lux, Rudzītis writes. Pumpurs, he says, had been intoxicated by the narcotic of Slavophilia, whilst Rainis was a creature of Western culture who was very well aware of the darkness that prevailed in Russia, having been exiled to Slobodsk from 1899 to 1902.

Rudzītis notes Rainis' 1908 article, published in the Russian press in 1910, "Latyshi," in which Rainis compares the literacy rates in the Baltic Provinces (on average, 76%) to the rates in Russia proper (on average, 30%). Perhaps the cutting off of Lāčplēsis' ear can even be seen as symbolizing the splitting off of Latgola from the Latvian nation by banning the Latin alphabet in 1865, Rudzītis notes.

Rudzītis' view is not just speculation -- it is confirmed by a conversation between Jānis Kārkliņš and Rainis in the 1920s. Asked how "I come from the Tatars" can be reconciled with performances in which the Dark Knight appears in Teutonic garb, Rainis answered that the Latvian nation was then most gravely threatened from the East (the play was written in 1903 and 1904, but revised as late as 1907). To evade censorship, he masked the character as "coming from the Tatars," which the people would easily understand as symbolizing the brutal power in the East and the mercenary mentality.

Thus the Dark Knight is transformed from a symbol of nationality to a symbol of benighted barbarity even before 1905. It is a sign of Rainis' spiritual intelligence and Rudzītis' acumen that the riddle -- what is the ethnicity of the Knight? -- has no answer. Rudzītis writes that Knight's
passport might say:

"Ethnicity -- Unknown.
Profession -- Russian imperialist."

Gospodin Gurin would do well to recall the Lermontov and ask what has changed:

Прощай, немытая Россия,
Страна рабов, страна господ,
И вы, мундиры голубы,
И ты, им преданный народ.


("Forever you, the unwashed Russia! / The land of slaves, the land of lords: / And you, the blue-uniformed ushers, / And people who worship them as gods." [Translation by Yevgeny Bonver])

The photograph of our street -- Andreja Pumpura iela -- was taken last autumn.

20 Comments:

Blogger jams o donnell said...

An excellent post Peteris. As ever you provide me with a view of a nation ignored or perhaps nmisrepresented here in the UK.

16 July, 2006 18:05  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Thanks, Jams! This last post was partly inspired by the meditation on maps at your blog.

Taking inspiration from Nouvelleurope, I hope we all get to learn about each other's barely functional/functional/dysfunctional (ex-post-)nation-states!

/P

16 July, 2006 19:40  
Blogger sonia said...

With its last revolution in 1918, Russia has not moved forward by a hair's breadth. Only backwards

How true.

The dilemma facing Latvia (Germany or Russia ?) was shared by most East European countries, and this dilemma always changed because both Russia and Germany were constantly changing their systems. The choice between tsarist Russia and Kaiser Germany was not the same as between Weimar Germany and Bolshevik Russia. The most tragic moment came in 1941, with a Hobson's choice between Stalinism and Nazism. Most Westerners will never understand what a horrible crime Churchill and Roosevelt committed by backing Stalin, instead of just letting those two monsters slaughter each other....

16 July, 2006 22:59  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Thanks for your insightful comment, Sonia!

An added problem here was that we were "a people without a history" from the 13th C. Even under Russia, German feudal power was essentialy left intact under the "Capitulations" (Courland was a "paradise of the nobles"). The National Awakening of the mid-19th C did not make the transition to the political, and by the 1890s the main current was the Marxist New Current -- it was basically "badly translated" German socialism of the internationalist persuasion, and it didn't even have an agrarian program. Masses of landless peasants chose Bolshevism (who got higher vote totals here than anywhere in Russia proper in 1917), whilst the feeble "bourgeois" Republic that finally emerged in November 1918 didn't have real popular support until late 1919, when Russian reactionaries and Germans joined forces under the Cossack Bermondt-Avalov. The Republic solved the main social (and thus political) problem with a radical land reform, stripping "the Dark Knight" of his estates, and though democracy failed in 1934 -- a devastated country managed to achieve living standards similar to Finland's in only a couple of decades of freedom.

What many on the Western left (among others) tend to close their eyes to re that horrible "choice" in 1941 is that there was no Latvia left to make a choice -- Stalin had already destroyed the nation-state in 1940, with Hitler's blessing. The Germans only arrived after what Latvians call "the Year of Horror" -- a year of Soviet atrocities -- and the Nazi invasion was preceded by mass deportations and murder perpetrated by the Russians.

As a gentleman from Warsaw noted in reaction to a Guardian article last May, Jonathan Steele makes "the assertion that one mass murderer is not quite as bad as another." Steele is not the only pundit to prefer Stalin and recoil at the idea that Eastern Europeans did not want to be raped by either monster and tend to draw an equal sign between them.

Russia would like to take credit for the sacrifices the USSR made in defeating Nazi Germany -- but it refuses to take responsibility for Soviet crimes. Its current Ambassador to Latvia was shocked to find pictures of Hitler and Stalin on the same wall at the Occupation Museum in Rīga, and he finished his tour by repeating the standard phrases -- we weren't occupied, and Russians have never occupied anybody (they have always been greeted with flowers, and they even saved us from the Swedes!). In the eyes of most Latvians, one rapist chased off another rapist, and then the first rapist returned. That Russia cannot face its history is perhaps understandable, if not forgivable -- that there are those in the West who can't face this is beyond comprehension.

Regards,
/P

17 July, 2006 12:42  
Blogger sonia said...

Steele is not the only pundit to prefer Stalin (...) That Russia cannot face its history is perhaps understandable, if not forgivable -- that there are those in the West who can't face this is beyond comprehension.

And yet, Stalin killed far more RUSSIANS than Hitler ever did...

Perhaps the greatest error Latvia ever did was in the late 1919, when it choose peace with the Soviet Union instead of joining Russian reactionaries, defeating Communism first, and only then worrying about how to deal with 'normal', nationalistic problems. But they weren't the only people at the time who prefered 'Red' Russia to the 'White' one. Even Poland betrayed Denikin and Wrangel and regretted it 20 years later...

17 July, 2006 15:12  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Good Morning, Sonia!

The peace treaty with the Soviets wasn't concluded until August 1920, and I wouldn't call it an error -- there was no sympathy for the Whites whatsoever, and that was entirely understandable because of the Whites' position; during their brief rule, Kerensky's "liberals" refused to consider autonomy -- they even refused to join the ethnically Latvian part of Vitebsk guberniya (Latgallia, Inflanty, Polish Livonia -- the eastern province in which I live) to the Baltic provinces to create a single administrative unit.

Yudenich recognized Estonia in exchange for immediate military aid on 11 August 1919, but he had no authority to do so. Kolchak made it clear that independent countries were out of the question (he refused to recognize the independence of Finland, even, despite Mannerheim's offer of 100 000 soldiers for the taking of Petrograd).

The Russians had already screwed the Riflemen by throwing them into suicidal battles (e.g., 9000 casualties in the Christmas Battles of 1916, or 37% of the regiments' fighting strength; it is no small wonder that so many of the Riflemen turned Red).

The Germans occupied Courland long enough to turn it into a wasteland, whilst factories and assets were evacuated from Rīga by the Russians. In 1919 there were three Latvian governments (the Republic, which for a time held no territory but found itself on a ship; the Bolsheviks; the German puppet government of Pastor Niedra).

Reactionary Germans were often allied with the reactionary Russians. Their plans included, at various times, establishing a duchy (the duke to have a personal union with the Kaiser), restoring feudal privileges to the Germans, and (finally) creating autonomous provinces within a reactionary Russia, ruled by Baltic Germans as of old. In 1916 the Baltischer Vertrauensrat proposed bringing a million and a half Germans to the Baltic (primarily Volga Germans). Another plan would have required each Latvian farmer to settle two German families on his land.

Instead of heading east to fight the Bolsheviks, von der Goltz turned north against the Estonians and Latvians, but was defeated at Cēsis (Wenden) in June 1919. After the Entente imposed a cease-fire and von der Goltz was recalled to Germany, Bermondt-Avalov gathered together Germans and Russians in the "West Russian Volunteer Army," in the autumn of 1919. Again, rather than fight the Bolsheviks, his council of officers decided to attack the Latvian and Estonian governments and create semi-autonomous Russian provinces, again with all of the Germans' privileges restored. As a result, Latvia declared war on Germany in November 1919.

It wasn't a question of dealing with "normal" problems but a question of the survival of the nation -- like Belgium, Latvia had suffered the most in the war and its aftermath; the population loss between 1914 and 1920 was 37% (and the ratio of women to men by 1920 was 1211:1000). Industry had been utterly destroyed. Agriculture had been entirely devastated.

The Whites were at least as inimical to the Latvians as the Bolsheviks were -- the Red Terror was followed by a White Terror, and there is no reason in the world why Latvians should have been interested in supporting the White cause.

As to regretting it 20 years later -- there wouldn't have been a Latvia if a different course had been taken. If there hadn't been -- I doubt very much if there would be one now.

Regards,
/P

18 July, 2006 13:11  
Blogger sonia said...

Peteris,

What you are so accurately describing is why the Reds won in the first place. Everybody (White Russians, Germans, Latians, Poles) were always more interested in defeating each other rather than in fighting their greatest enemy.

Whites were at least as inimical to the Latvians as the Bolsheviks were

I would go further. White were FAR MORE inimical to the freedom of Latvians (or any other NATION) than Reds.

But the point is that the Reds were far more dangerous to the freedom of INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEINGS than Whites, Germans, etc...

The Latvian dilemma in the 1919-20 was: do we egoistically save our NATION or do we selflessly sacrifice our national aspirations to first defeat a dangerous disease that could spread and destroy the entire humanity. Unfortunately, the Latvians made the same WRONG choice as all the other nations...

18 July, 2006 15:17  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Dear Sonia,

Again I disagree. We do not operate as "humanity" -- you can hardly expect nations to go sacrifice themselves for a cause that is hateful to them. In the international system, nation-states provide the structures that provide for the "freedom of individual human beings."

The "freedom of individual human beings" is finally a tangible thing, not an abstract -- real people needed real land and real bread (and real democracy, which they after all got -- the Constituent Assembly, in 1920).

International recognition was a problem, too. As the historian Dunsdorfs noted, the Americans attacked reactionary Germany, but strongly backed reactionary Russia. On 25 October 1919, Ulmanis asked the US military attaché, Thomas W. Hollyday -- who was also the Chief of the Military Mission of the United States to North Russia -- for arms and money, with the suggestion of an ultimatum (hinting that in the event of a negative response, Latvia could come to terms with the Bolsheviks). The Americans engaged in a deceptive game, not intending to support Latvian independence but wishing to give the Letts the impression that they might do so in the future (this is made clear in a memo attached to the Latvian request in Washington).

Fighting for the Whites would be as doomed as fighting for the Reds; many of the Riflemen did join the Bolsheviks, caught with no way out (though some made it back the long way, through Vladivostok).

I would not call Bolshevism the greatest enemy at the time -- they at least promised self-determination. The Whites promised a continuation of centuries of slavery. It was anathema to Letts, and rightly so.

Warm regards,
/P

18 July, 2006 15:57  
Blogger sonia said...

I would not call Bolshevism the greatest enemy at the time

Nobody did. It was everybody's SECOND biggest enemy (Poles were more afraid of Germans, Lithuanians of Poles, Romanians of Hungarians, etc. etc.). That's how Bolshevism survived.

But it was the greatest enemy. If Denikin and Wrangel had won, capitalist Russia wouldn't have signed a pact with Hitler and annexed the Baltic republics (not because they wouldn't want to, but because no Hitler would ever emerge in Germany - no German capitalist would champion him as an antidote to Communism).

18 July, 2006 23:41  
Blogger Redwine said...

Sonia,
"It was everybody's SECOND biggest enemy (Poles were more afraid of Germans, Lithuanians of Poles, Romanians of Hungarians, etc. etc.)." - on the one hand I don't understand, on the other,in this case nationalism should have been the first evil: it was not. The empires were gone, nation-states came into being. Not Bolshevism caused the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The Tsarist Russia was rightly called the prison of nations, and the Stalinist empire more rightly so: but it was impossible to predict the extent of the tragedy. Also, many supported the Bolsheviks -back then - precisely because they hoped the Bolsheviks would support and guarantee national self-determination.
"because no Hitler would ever emerge in Germany" - he would have. The Bolsheviks (and it was impossible to predict back then) may have divorced Russia from the civilized world: so did Hitler in 1933, and hardly as a reaction to the Bolshevik revolution. History is more complex than that: we cannot tell what would have happened if Denikin had "won", (or Makhno to that): the dividing line was extremely thin (parties often switched sides, the left often opposed the Bolsheviks, etc.) and somehow I can't see Denikin as a cure to the problems of Europe.

19 July, 2006 12:11  
Blogger sonia said...

Redwine,

I don't understand (...) in this case nationalism should have been the first evil: it was not

I am not talking about ideology. I am talking about tactics. The point is: anti-Communists were honest, telling each other IN ADVANCE where they really stood. Communists were smarter - telling everybody lies and playing everybody against each other. That's how they won.

it was impossible to predict the extent of the tragedy

Many did, even back then: Bunin, Savinkov, and others who realized early on that Bolshevism wasn't a political system, but a mortal plague, and that arguing about petty things (and nationalism is a petty thing) was suicidal in the face of it...

19 July, 2006 16:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question, Peteri... you translated:

Austrums laida brīvas tautas
Saules zemi piepildīt,
Tiesības tām bija ļautas
Pašām sevi pārvaldīt.

as

"The East freed nations to attain the lands of the sun. They were granted the right to self-rule.”

Picayune, perhaps, but why did you translate that to "attain" the lands of the sun? Would it not be "fill" the lands of the sun? (Yes, I know piepildit can also mean "to fulfill" but I'm not sure that would be apropos here)

Visu labu!

19 July, 2006 22:21  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Sveiks, anonīmais!

Not picayune -- you are probably right! I was offering crude prose glosses, not really translating... but I was indeed thinking of "piepildīt savas vēlmes," etc., and at that moment thought that might best be rendered with "to attain." I'm not sure what the essence of that line is, at bottom. How would the peoples fill the sun's lands. exactly? Will check the LLVV, etc., for further references. Thanks for the criticism!

/P

19 July, 2006 22:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) A street in Rīga was named after Dzhokhar Dudayev, the late Chechen leader, not because Latvia respect ideas of "jihad" - Latvia fights against "soldiers of Allah" taking part in US occupation of Aphganistan and Iraq.

2) What about the nature of Kungs in "Speleju dancoju" by Rainis?

11 January, 2007 15:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fire and Night" was written in 1905 and "I Played and Danced" was written in 1915 - eventually Janis Rainis returned to traditional image of "Black German"...

11 January, 2007 18:21  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

Thank you for the comments!

I wasn't trying to suggest that Dudayev Street got its name due to any sympathy for jihad -- it was given the name out of Baltic sympathy for the Chechen people's struggle for self-determination and respect for Dudayev when he was an officer in Tartu.

The shifting identity of the Dark Knight is dependent upon which forces were perceived as darkest at a given point in time. 1905 was followed by the punitive expeditions. In 1915, it was again the Germans, and Latvians were fighting for Russia. Rainis' Daugava would soon demand a nation-state, and the reactionary forces of the Germans and Russians would be joined under Bermondt-Avalov in 1919. The identity of the Knight isn't bound to a nationality -- in Rainis, he is a symbol of oppression. The key word in "a free Latvia in a free Russia," the slogan of the Riflemen, was free.

11 January, 2007 23:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was given the name out of Baltic sympathy for the Chechen people's struggle for self-determination and respect for Dudayev when he was an officer in Tartu"

Revolution in Chechnya is Islamic revolution introducing Shariat laws - nothing in common with Western understanding of "freedom, democracy and human rights". And what about Latvian respect for self-determination of Aphganistan, Iraq and Iran? If you think that US occupation is God's blessing you need to look through the Abu Ghraib Prison Photos

http://www.antiwar.com/news/?articleid=2444

12 January, 2007 07:31  
Blogger Pēteris Cedriņš said...

The revolution in Chechnya was not initially Islamist; the historical majority is Naqshbandi Sufi. There are numerous Chechen democrats, some of whom visited Latvia at the invitation of the Chechnya support group in our parliament.

The Chechens' radicalization in response to Russia's genocidal war and the indifference of the West is not so very surprising, and one should also remember that Russia has a long history of almost unbelievable brutality in the region.

You might find Mel Huang's "Chechnya: An Honorary Baltic State" interesting, though it is dated --

http://www.ce-review.org/99/24/amber24.html

An excellent site for information on what is happening in Chechnya now is here --

http://www.watchdog.cz/

Chechnya is off topic, and Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran (?) are still further off topic -- so please forgive me if I decline to debate them here.

12 January, 2007 08:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Advocates of Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing and Biological Warfare

1707 - John Archdale, "Description of Carolina": the Hand of God was eminently seen in thinning the Indians, to make room for the English....it at other times pleased Almighty God to send unusual Sicknesses amongst them, as the Smallpox, etc., to lessen their Numbers.

1763 - Lord Jeffrey Amherst's letters discussing germ warfare against American Indians.

1832 - Douglass Houghton in a letter to Henry Schoolcraft: "The Indians at this day are firmly of the opinion that the small-pox was, at this time, communicated through the articles presented to their brethren, by the agent of the Fur Company at Mackinac; and that it was done for the purpose of punishing them more severely for their offences".

1867 - Colonel Richard I. Dodge at Fort McPherson, Nebraska: "Kill every buffalo you can. Every buffalo dead is an Indian gone”. General Philip H. Sheridan: "The buffalo hunters have done more in the last two years to settle the vexed Indian question than the regular army has done in the last 30 years."

2005 - Veteran Radio Host Paul Harvey: “Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and into this continent by giving small pox infected blankets to native Americans. Yes, that was biological warfare! And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever. And we grew prosperous”.

http://prisonplanet.com/articles/july2005/050705paulharvey.htm

12 January, 2007 22:22  
Anonymous Dark Knight said...

long long post... :(

22 October, 2007 13:44  

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