Here it is, that time of year (the fourth Thursday in November) when we are all beseeched to consider “what we are thankful for.” This invitation to a mass cultural ritual targets everyone regardless of race, creed or sex (or these days, gender). The conformity of thought it reinforces does not discriminate among such superficial characteristics; it goes way deeper. The fundamentals (literally, the foundational elements) of the “American” mind are laid each year at this time.
Those fundamentals hold that we are a strong, brave, resourceful people – whether by our evolved nature or by the grant of a deity – standing atop the shining hill of history, surveying our domain. This belief is adorned with different coats, some prettier than others, varying by class or other social division, but itself is unquestioned except on the margins of society.
Like many other beliefs, this one is false. It is far more accurate to describe our role simply as “occupier.” That is, what is called “the United States” is factually an active occupation. Those of us here who have no Native American heritage are engaging in ongoing acts of military, cultural and economic war not only against the people who lived here first but against the land itself. Occupying is inevitably destructive.
In terms of the Thanksgiving holiday, many scholars have brought to light over recent decades what Native Americans always knew and never forgot; namely, that the traditional story is not historically accurate and is cultural propaganda. (If you’re not in the know on the details yet, I urge you to educate yourself. I have listed some links at the end of this article.)
What happened in 1620, when some English people settled in what came to be known as Massachusetts, was an exercise in dispossession, massacre and ecocide. These have been the hallmarks of European contact with Native Americans and “the New World.” Over next three centuries what was accomplished was near total conquest of the people and the real estate.
These events are “in the past” only in the way that the formative experiences of childhood are in the past for every adult. That is, though they occurred years ago, they are present now today because they were the building blocks of our character. For individuals, they can include injuries sustained young and never properly mended or healed. For this nation, they consist of massacres and broken promises.
The “Indian Wars” never ended. Our occupation of the native land and our subjugation of its people is a current event. Right now, in November of 2017. On Thanksgiving.
So what are we supposed to do with this holiday? Give thanks for being the occupiers? Be grateful for the ongoing repression of millions of people and hundreds of cultures? All our material wealth is the product of the occupation; it is, in fact, ripped screaming from the occupied every day.
We could face this. We could start by recognizing the validity of our treaties with Native American tribes. These agreements remain on the books, were never nullified, and are still “real” according to our – the occupiers’ – own laws. Yes, this will probably mean “giving back land.” Yes, this will inconvenience a number of occupiers. If the formerly occupied are willing to offer mercy to such individuals on a case by case basis, that is their right, and it’s not for us to say (or even to ask for).
As former occupiers we can offer assistance to anyone made homeless, and that is one thing, but it is time for the military’s protection to be withdrawn from the settlers. Historically, the invasion was regularly carried out first by individual settlers who ignored ratified treaties and who called the cavalry in when the conflict escalated to violence (more often than not by the settlers themselves). Step-by-step in this way, the “frontier” was “advanced.” In Mexico, in what would become the southwestern United States, the Spanish pushed out the frontera, which is “boundary.”
Reversing this process – “settler colonialism”– is a necessary step at this point in time; our destructiveness must end as it is now threatening almost all life on the planet. Yes, I am aware that the logistics of such a situation seem impossible to imagine, at least from mainstream viewpoints. Facing us are other big questions, related: what about those occupiers whose descendants were forcibly brought here as slaves and who have never received their own reparation? We must stop business-as-usual and address these issues head-on with no delay.
So… can’t we just acknowledge all that and then celebrate Thanksgiving anyway, because we all really do have things to be thankful for? Like “family and friends”?
What is a friendship between two occupiers if each is empowering the other to keep occupying? Now, when all available evidence shows that the occupation is harming most living things including the occupier? When supporting the status quo is in fact suicidal? We say “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” but apparently friends do let friends participate in ecocide. Too often, “friends” are nothing more than people we set up to stand between ourselves and loneliness. In so doing we end up holding each other back, enforcing a lowest common denominator, enabling ignorance and stunted maturity.
What of “family”? Among the occupiers, it is an enforced relation, by definition inescapable as it is based on blood. These are the people you really have to stay with, regardless of how terrible they might be to you. Built-in punching bags for each other. Generally it’s a horror show, frankly.
This “family” as we speak of it is an intact relic from the Abrahamic religious complex in which kinship is biologically decided and legally bound within a male-dominated power structure. Those beliefs were a force for the self-colonization (domestication) that started thousands of years ago and set us on a path we have since beaten quite far from its source. Starting with the desertification of the Middle East through agriculture, we have ravaged and poisoned the earth from one end to the other, and in so doing made our relationships with one another toxic too.
Thanksgiving is truly communal in one very real sense, though: we manufacture it together, on the individual level, with personal intent. Yes, there is a powerful media machine that pumps up the holiday to make money, but the real power still lies in the masses. Our peer pressure on each other, through our social interactions, is still the dominant acculturating force, whether it’s online or IRL.
No, I am not thankful for the occupation of “America” (and I recognize that’s the occupier name but don’t know what else to use). The nominal benefits that accrue from my legal citizenship within it are limited and I find abhorrent the roles of abuser, tyrant and killer that are included with it.
Robert Jensen proposed a National Day of Atonement, to be marked with “self-reflective collective fasting” rather than huge meals and televised sports. Sounds great to me, especially since our arrival at such a place would necessarily be through camaraderie rather than top-down fiats.
In the best of all worlds, a sudden flash of collective awareness would spark spontaneous action in order to bend the arc of history to justice sooner rather than later. Such a thing is within the realm of possibility. How likely is it? Ultimately, such conjecture is probably fruitless unless you’re an odds-maker, but we cannot claim that it is impossible. This is not a call for “hope.” We would all be better off if we avoided the hopeful/hopeless trap and focused on practical realities; they are quite daunting on their own.
“There’s nothing we can do” is nihilism. I have wondered if such profound cynicism is a luxury that only occupiers can afford. How often is “We can’t” used when “We won’t” is truly the case?
On Thanksgiving, few people would say, “I am thankful for the illegal occupation of this land,” yet with our collective actions that is exactly the message we are sending.
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
On Tuesday, March 7th, Russia’s top parliamentarian dealing with the Ukrainian refugee influx into Russia — dealing, that is, with the people who have fled Ukraine as a result of U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2014 coup overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych — presented the first-ever comprehensive number of asylum-applicants from Ukraine who have received asylum there after that February 2014 coup. The Russian government had never before publicly provided a number, but does have an established system of processing refugees, including assignment of official refugee status, which «allows the recipient various social benefits, including unemployment compensation» and so each Ukrainian refugee has ...
How can it be that in virtually all of the Presidential-candidate head-to-head Democratic versus Republican polling that was done of both Democratic and Republican candidates during the primaries, the preferred Democratic candidate against any one of the Republican candidates was Bernie Sanders, but he almost certainly won’t be that Party’s nominee (and there’s more on that here); and the preferred Republican candidate against either one of the Democratic candidates was John Kasich, but he certainly won’t be the Republican nominee?
Sanders and Kasich also scored the highest in his respective Party for net favorability rating, but almost certainly neither candidate will ...
On April 20, 1955, Marijan John Markul entered the FBI’s Los Angeles office and told a shocking story. The man who then introduced himself as Marshal Josip Broz Tito was not actually him, but a Russian agent who assumed the identity of Tito after Josip Broz disappeared in Russia in 1937. This is stated in the FBI’s report from the beginning of May 1955, writes daily newspaper “Kurir”.Secret FBI reports from the fifties were recently opened and released to the public.Marijan Markul was born in Livno in 1909. He moved to the United States in 1936 and received citizenship in ...
Russia, Oil and Revolution
By the 1870s, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Empire had a virtual monopoly over the United States, and even many foreign countries. In 1890, the King of Holland gave his blessing for the creation of an international oil company called Royal Dutch Oil Company, which was mainly founded to refine and sell kerosene from Indonesia, a Dutch colony. Also in 1890, a British company was founded with the intended purpose of shipping oil, the Shell Transport and Trading Company, and it “began transporting Royal Dutch oil from Sumatra to destinations everywhere,” and eventually, “the two companies merged ...
The so called "Croatian scenario", is something that has been periodically brought up after the start of the armed conflict in Donbass. (Among other instances, yours truly noted this in articles from this past December 17 and August 24, 2015.) Promoted at Johnson's Russia List, the December 28 Euromaidan Press article "What Ukraine Can Take from the 'Croatian Scenario' of Conflict Resolution", omits some key factors for being apprehensive about the probability for success of an Operation Storm like strike against the Donbass rebels.
In 1995, the Serb Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, had essentially dropped the Krajina Serbs, with the hope that he could improve his relationship with the West. At ...
Can the world wake up?
On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph reported:
Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.
The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, ...
Why Does America Keep “Losing” Its Wars?
Below, we demonstrate that the U.S. keeps “losing” war after war.
There are 3 potential reasons this might be happening:
Is this chaos an intentional way to implement regime change and grab resources?
Or is this a sign of the decline of the American empire … and we just can’t win a war anymore?
Or do those in charge just not really give a damn about winning … and are they just focusing on one short-term goal after another?
We’ll let you decide why you think this keeps happening. But if you don’t believe that the ...
On December 19, 2005, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the appointment of Ambassador Frank G. Wisner as the Special Representative of the US Secretary of State to the Kosovo Status Talks.
Who is Frank G. Wisner, Jr.?
If his name sounds familiar that is because he is the son of Frank Gardiner Wisner, Sr., the CIA agent most responsible for the recruitment of Nazis by the US government after World War II. A former member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II precursor to the CIA, Frank G. Wisner, Sr., was one of the most infamous ...
What is wrong with the American people? After several years of horrific policy toward the waking world, democracy’s standard bearers seem to be drowning in a lake of selfishness. Distracted, apathetic, or simply dumbed and numbed by unrelenting propaganda, the most admired society on Earth has turned to a wriggling mush of diverging ideals. I fear that American have become what we ultimately deplored, just another despicable cultural hegemony. Here’s a short brief on the matter.
A recent article by James Carden at The Nation prompted me to discuss this unsavory truth today. The title of the piece, “Trump’s Syria Policy: ...
US duopoly power replaced the eras of Jefferson, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. No JFKs exist, President Kennedy as we recall was a peacemaker assassinated for opposing war, urging nuclear disarmament and the normalization of relations with the Soviet Union.
New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society programs are heading for history’s dust bin.
Bipartisan neocons infesting Washington want social justice ended, neoliberal enslavement replacing it, fascist police state harshness enforcing it.
America is a gangster state, criminals running it – beginning in the 1990s under Bill Clinton, hardened under George W. Bush, institutionalized under Obama, certain to worsen no matter who succeeds him.
What could possibly go wrong? Refugees welcome! Not to allow these enemy combatants to return would be “Islamophobic”!
“Disguised as refugees and able to cross borders without being identified: ISIS general who blew up a hostage with a rocket and decapitated another prisoner is ‘back in Europe with 400 soldiers’ after fleeing Syria,” by Julian Robinson, MailOnline, December 29, 2016:
An ISIS general once pictured decapitating a prisoner is back in Europe with up to 400 of his most trusted soldiers after fleeing the war zone in Syria, it has been claimed.
Ex-NATO soldier Lavdrim Muhaxheri and his men are among thousands who ...
Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo. However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo ...
As the Cold War entered its final act in 1985, journalist Helena Cobban participated in an academic conference at an upscale resort near Tucson, Arizona, on U.S.-Soviet interactions in the Middle East. When she attended what was listed as the “Gala Dinner with keynote speech”, she quickly learned that the virtual theme of the evening was, “Adopt a Muj.”
“I remember mingling with all of these wealthy Republican women from the Phoenix suburbs and being asked, ‘Have you adopted a muj?” Cobban told me. “Each one had pledged money to sponsor a member of the Afghan mujahedin in the name ...
On July 11, 1995, the town of Srebrenica fell to the Bosnian Serb army. At the time, I was the highest ranking United Nations civilian official in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In my book, Dubious Mandate,1 I made some comments on that tragedy. Beyond that, I decried the distortions of the international press in their reporting, not only on that event, but on the wars in Yugoslavia (1992-95) in general. I expressed the wish that there could have been, and must be, some balance in telling the story of what actually happened in Srebrenica and in all of former Yugoslavia, if we are ...
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2014.
On Monday [October 13 2014], America’s government offices, businesses, and banks all grind to a halt in order to commemorate Columbus Day. In schools up and down the country, little children are taught that a heroic Italian explorer discovered America, and various events and parades are held to celebrate the occasion.
It has now become common knowledge amongst academics that Christopher Columbus clearly did not discover America, not least because is it impossible to discover a people and a continent that was already there and thriving with culture. One can only wonder how ...
It is not a secret that the American government has been supporting terrorist groups during the entire Syrian conflict. One of these days, another fact proving this statement was recorded.On September 20, Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) militants with their allies launched an offensive on the Syrian Arab Army positions, north-east of Hama city, The National reported.Most likely, the attack of the militants was orchestrated by the U.S. intelligence agencies, which had provided them with the information on the locations and the military strength in the region.It is also reported that the militants' main object was the units of the Russian ...
The international community is accustomed to the so-called “checkbook diplomacy” that has been used by China and Taiwan to pilfer each other’s diplomatic allies by exchanging diplomatic recognition for generous financial assistance packages. However, this same battle for diplomatic recognition and de-recognition is being played out between Serbia and its breakaway province of Kosovo. The United States and much of NATO has not only granted Kosovo diplomatic recognition over the objection of Serbia but has also pressured other countries to recognize Kosovo’s independence. This process has hit a major stumbling block amid charges from various parties that fake diplomatic letters ...
John Pilger is the kind of well-informed, hard-hitting journalist with gobs of integrity that no longer exists in the Western mainstream media. He has the most distinguished career of all in the business.
In the article below he brings stunning information to one of my own themes–the creation by Washington and its NATO vassals of an artificial reality consisting entirely of propaganda into which Washington has placed the entire Western world and all outside who inspire to be part of it. Westerners live in The Matrix, and the presstitutes keep them there. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and ...
The negotiations on Brexit are attracting a lot of attention. In particular, the possible erosion of the rights of around three million EU-27 citizens living in Britain is a major cause for concern.The European Parliament resolution adopted on 3 October states that “the withdrawal agreement must incorporate the full set of rights citizens currently enjoy, such that there is no material change in their position”.The main author of this text, Mr Guy Verhofstadt, the EP Brexit Coordinator, argues that such an approach – not to lower the level of citizens’ rights – is “the goal of democracy”. But why was ...
The mainstream media (MSM) has declared war on alternative media websites labeling them “Fake News” ever since Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump. The New York Times editorial board expressed their frustration in an article calling for the censorship of alternative and social media ‘Facebook and the Digital Virus Called Fake News’ which claimed both social media platforms (Facebook and Google) has not been aggressive enough in blocking fake news sites:Most of the fake news stories are produced by scammers looking to make a quick buck. The vast majority of them take far-right positions. But a big part ...
SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu