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Default Acountability for the Sins of the (Fore)Fathers

April 25th, 2007, 16:57
It wasn't really a massacre against the Polish. It was a massacre against the 'inferior' races. Germany/Poland was a war. The mass executions were a massacre.
Last edited by Pladio; April 25th, 2007 at 17:03. Reason: Forgot to say something
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April 25th, 2007, 17:05
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
It wasn't really a massacre against the Polish. It was a massacre against the 'inferior' races. Germany/Poland was a war. The mass executions were a massacre.
So what is the boundary - if the opponents are armed and fight back? And then what - does the systematic push-back and elimination and encampment of Native Americans become simply a war of domination and acceptable then? I'm getting confused …

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April 25th, 2007, 17:14
If I understand your question correctly, then a massacre is :
-When people get killed without any way or almost any way of defending themselves.


A war is:
- when two sides fight against each other (mostly soldiers vs soldiers).

Main Entry: 1mas·sa·cre
Pronunciation: 'ma-si-k&r
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French
1 : the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty

Main Entry: 1war
Pronunciation: 'wor
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English werre, from Anglo-French werre, guerre, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German werra strife; akin to Old High German werran to confuse
1 a (1) : a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations (2) : a period of such armed conflict (3) : STATE OF WAR b : the art or science of warfare c (1) obsolete : weapons and equipment for war (2) archaic : soldiers armed and equipped for war
(Merriam Webster)


I might have not understood your question, so tell me…
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April 25th, 2007, 17:16
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
It wasn't a war. It was a massacre.
The Spanish came with rifle, guns, horses, armor…
For every Spaniard who died 20 or more Indians died.
They killed countless, raped countless, of men, women and children. I think that that isn't a war. That's a massacre. I believe that if Germany would have won the war against Europe (without thinking of the Holocaust) then they would have the right to keep the land. But they massacred millions of people. They raped others and they killed children.
They (the Nazis) don't deserve anything.
This is some rather strange logic. Your right to keep conquered land depends on how you conduct war? Name one war in which no innocent people were killed, in which no women were raped, or other war crimes were commited? These wars don't exist.
From a modern point of view imperialistic wars automatically break international law. Even wars that are lead to defend your own country only allow a possible occupation of a foreign country for a certain amount of time. You cannot just say I won the war, I'll keep the land.
Thus said I don't think that you can apply nowadays moral standards to wars that took place several hundred years ago. You also have to be careful not to simplify the situation too much. Lewis and Clark were not De Soto.
You also have to take into acount that the first settlers did not come to America with the intention to violently take the land from the Indians. They just saw a huge country that had more then enough space to provide for both the native Americans and the settlers. As it turned out later on the cultural differences were too big to allow a pieceful co-existence.

Interesting. I sort of agree with you there, but still think that they (redskins) should of done a better job at defending themselves. This goes for aboriginals as well. Poland fought well against Germans (from what i've read). It too was a massacre. But they managed to fight back and regain lost land. And I don't think Poland ever requested an apology from Germany (not 100% sure though).
You cannot compare the situation of Poland with that of the native Americans or Aborigines. They had to fight a war which they could not win. The diseases that the settlers brought over decimated them to a degree that there were hardly any people left who could actually fight back. I would also imagine that Polish forces during WWII did not have to fight the Nazis with tomahawks and bows.
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April 25th, 2007, 17:17
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
I might have not understood your question, so tell me…
I understand the definitions, but am trying to figure the context. I don't think any of this stuff is so clear cut.

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April 25th, 2007, 17:21
It's not clear at all and Ionstorm, I know you can't simplify things, I'm trying to point out that we have to remember what happened, so it won't happen again.
All those massacres have to be stopped.
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April 25th, 2007, 17:27
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
It's not clear at all and Ionstorm, I know you can't simplify things, I'm trying to point out that we have to remember what happened, so it won't happen again.
All those massacres have to be stopped.
I can very much agree on that one!
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April 25th, 2007, 19:09
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
The white ethnic majorities that live in Australia and America today live there in relative wealth and comfort - because their forefathers did what they did. They cannot just say that they have nothing to do with the whole situation because they are still profiting from what their forefathers did.
Aren't you forgetting about immigration? All of my great grandparents came here from Europe. That's not that unusual in the US. That means most blacks have deeper roots here than mine. Doesn't Australia have massive immigration too? Here in California the majority will change very soon from white to hispanic due to illegal immigration, and hispanics are already influential.

It's not about reaping the benefits of our forefathers as much as its about eliminating roadblocks to equal opportunity. Then there's the hatred, but that's another story.

Oh, and get real about comparing the US and Australia today to Hitler's Germany, ISS. No way.
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April 25th, 2007, 19:24
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
Aren't you forgetting about immigration? All of my great grandparents came here from Europe. That's not that unusual in the US. That means most blacks have deeper roots here than mine. Doesn't Australia have massive immigration too? Here in California the majority will change very soon from white to hispanic due to illegal immigration, and hispanics are already influential.
Sorry mate, I do not see your point? What has immigration to do with it? You immigrate and afterwards you'll either belong to an ethnic majority and prfoit from it, or you'll belong to an ethnic minority yourself and might have your very own problems in a foreign country. You really might clarify the above statement - I don't see the point sorry.

Oh, and get real about comparing the US and Australia today to Hitler's Germany, ISS. No way.
I'm not comparing Hitler's Germany to Australia or the US today. That's absolute nonsense. If you can show me a paragraph where I have written something like that I will remove it at once.
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April 25th, 2007, 19:36
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
I'm not comparing Hitler's Germany to Australia or the US today. That's absolute nonsense. If you can show me a paragraph where I have written something like that I will remove it at once.
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
The holocaust means genocide, the colonization of America means genocide, as does the colonization of Australia.
My point about immigration is that immigrants don't just assimilate along racial lines. That's not how it works over here, anyway. The Irish faced huge discrimination, for example. Most of them came over here with just the clothes on their backs, and they didn't benefit from anyone else's forefathers.
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April 25th, 2007, 21:21
The holocaust means genocide, the colonization of America means genocide, as does the colonization of Australia.
Well, first of all - if that were a direct comparison (which it very obviously is NOT), it would mean that I compared Nazi Germany with a development that took place during 16th, 17th and 18th century in the US and in Australia. In no way would it mean that I'm comparing Hitler's Germany with the US and Australia today. Sorry mate, but that's such a nonsense.
Now, as I said this is obviously NOT a direct comparison. There are several reasons for that. As I stated in a former post, moral is a value that has changed and developed over time. The moral standards of the 16th century when De Soto paid the native Americans a visit (and butchered a few of them) were different form the moral standards of the early 20th century when Hitler decided that he had to get rid of all the Jews. I also explained in a former post that Lewis and Clark were not De Soto, although they considered the Indians to be rather primitive, they tried to stay on friendly terms with them. They even carried an antidote to the pox that killed many of the Indians. In the same post I also mentioned that the first settlers did not have the intention to violently take the land from the Indians or to kill them all…
What later on followed however was not as glorious as the Lewis and Clark expedition. So as you can see I very much differentiate between what certain people did to certain other people at certain points in time.

But no matter how I'm looking at it - in 1500 there were several millions of Indians living in North America (exact numbers can only be estimated and vary from 5 millions to 18 millions), in 1900 there were about 240.000 left. Now, there is a discourse going on if you can call the development during the time of the settlement a genocide or not (it's a technical term - and has of course an exact definition). But even those historians that say that the term genocide is not appropriate have to admit that actions took place at that time which could be considered as genocidal acts.
I think it doesn't matter if you think this was genocide or not, fact is at the beginning of the 20th century there were just not many Indians left (certain tribes did no longer exist). And fact is that it was not their own decision to reduce their numbers in such a drastic amount.

Similar things could probably be said for Australia.

Germany was a totally different situation. It was indeed genocide per definition (actually WWII lead to the definition of the term genocide). I would never compare this kind of mass murder with what was going on in other countries at other points in time. It was an ideological mass murder conducted in a very organized way. It was aiming specifically at eradicating a certain race - that is what makes it more sinister and evil.

But we cannot deny that these incidents have certain points in common. The Nazis wanted to eradicate the jews. The native Americans and the Aborigines were almost eradicated - admittedly the governments did not have the intention to do it, but it nearly happened anyway.
And this is were I'm drawing parallels: No matter if you're looking at the Jews, the native Americans, or the Aborigines (there are many more examples btw) - the lives of these ethnic groups were influenced and shaped by these incidents, and they are influenced and shaped by these incidents until today.

Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
My point about immigration is that immigrants don't just assimilate along racial lines. That's not how it works over here, anyway. The Irish faced huge discrimination, for example. Most of them came over here with just the clothes on their backs, and they didn't benefit from anyone else's forefathers.
Ask yourself whom your forefathers asked for permission to stay in the US - the US Government or the native American tribes? I think the answer should be obvious.

Mate, believe me, I'm far from blaming anyone for anything. I think every nation in the world has blood on its hands. But this thread started out with Corwin's question why ethnic minorities (in his case it's the Aborigines) blame the descendants of white settlers (which are now the ethnic majority) for something that happened before they were born. I try to find answers to that question. I do not make accusations…
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April 25th, 2007, 22:12
OK, I understand the point you're making now. I was confused by your use of the present tense while referring to the past. That's still making comparisons to Hitler's Germany, and I still think it's a stretch.

You can expect more from humanity now then you did in the past, especially the distant past. That's called progress. Germany progressed a lot between the 16th century and the 1940's, don't you think?

What happened to native Americans isn't fair, even if you don't consider it genocide (and I don't). They probably won't be getting any land back, though. The opportunity to fix that problem properly has passed, and that's definitely too bad.
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April 25th, 2007, 22:58
Originally Posted by Squeek View Post
OK, I understand the point you're making now. I was confused by your use of the present tense while referring to the past. That's still making comparisons to Hitler's Germany, and I still think it's a stretch.
Ahh ok, I'm sorry then. But you have to understand that English is not my first language. I think it would be clear since I was referring to events in the past. You also have to see that I am not comparing acts of violence, but the consequences that resulted from them. I think there is a big difference. You have to read posts in their context. After all we are not talking about whose crimes were worse, but why victims of crimes are reacting the way they do.

You can expect more from humanity now then you did in the past, especially the distant past. That's called progress. Germany progressed a lot between the 16th century and the 1940's, don't you think?
Exactely. That's why I said that you cannot judge 18th or 19th century imperialism according to modern standards. De Soto was certainly following a different moral compas than Lewis and Clark did, and people nowadays have even higher moral standards.
We still have to be very careful though when using such an argument. It explains certain things, but I don't think it is an excuse for what people at the time did
True, moral standards have developped over time. But basic moral standards are in place for a long time now. Take for example the Bible that says that you should not kill or steal. People at the 16th, 17th, and 18th century were not totally ignorant that what they were doing was wrong.

On the other hand you have to realize that our modern laws concerning war crimes, especially genocide, and crimes against humanity are relatively young. The term crimes against humanity was first used after WWI and was put into action at the tribunals (Nürnberg) that followed WWII. The influence that the tribunals of Nürnberg had on international law should not be underestimated.

The sad thing is that genocide still takes place, even today. Think about Yugoslavia or Africa for example.
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April 25th, 2007, 23:13
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
Think about Yugoslavia or Africa for example.
I try to make my kids appreciate the absolute opulence of life they live in relative to the majority of the world, the lack of fear for their lives on a daily basis and so on.

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April 25th, 2007, 23:18
And people are indifferent about it. They don't care it's happening !
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April 25th, 2007, 23:36
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
And people are indifferent about it. They don't care it's happening !
Because the average person doesn't have a whole lotta power to stop that, we don't have our own militaries to send over to make sure people aren't taken advantage of like that. Sure, we can pay the dollar a day or whatever, but I doubt that fixes the problem of leaders who have taken advantage of that country for their own good and brought it down like that. It'd be nice if a person with real power did care, and actually did do something, but other countries have enough problems of their own I'm sure.

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April 26th, 2007, 02:15
Immigration is an interesting issue that has been raised. I'm an immigrant to Australia. I arrived here with $50 and one suitcase fresh out of University and now like most middle class people, I have plenty of assets, but little cash!! I worked hard for over 30 years to arrive at this position. I didn't even live, or have parents who lived here at the time the Aborigines were being exploited, so I don't feel any sense of guilt.

This country is FULL of immigrants (it's an island ) many from England, though the US and Asia is rapidly overtaking them. Ethnic minorities have flourished here and all have been made welcome; this is basically, a very friendly country full of easy going, friendly people. Yes, we have our racists, bullies, etc, as do ALL societies/countries, but they are a minority. The worst we have had recently, is pockets of religious intolerance (mainly with Muslims) but those issues are based more on historical problems between immigrants from hostile European countries (eg Serbs and Croats) rather than inherent issues in our society. Still, blame is being laid at the feet of the 'normal' aussie (at least in the media, but that is a different issue)!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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April 26th, 2007, 03:09
Ok, after all this discussion, I have finally figured it out. What happened in the past cannot be changed. A minority of people in todays society request the majority of people to apologize. This is because they have too much time on their hands and nothing to do. The only way to solve this major issue, is for all those minorities to acquire a version of Gothic 3. They will get so "into" the game, that they will forget about the past, and focus on attaining the 5 sacred artifacts.
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April 26th, 2007, 05:07
Ah, finally the answer to World Peace!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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April 26th, 2007, 11:02
I demand that Piranha Bytes apologizes for a very buggy version 1.0!!!
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