Voices from Russia

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Crazy Horse’s Last Stand

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In the early 1940s, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear, wrote to Polish-American architect Korczak Ziolkowski and asked if he’d be willing to build a monument to commemorate Native American history. The letter ended:

My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too.

However, who was it they proposed to embody the epic history of their people? It wasn’t Sacagawea. Although she was a formidable woman, she personified cooperation with white America at a moment when Native leaders wanted to express resistance. The recent completion of Mt Rushmore enraged Native America. It was a monument to white presidents in the Black Hills of South Dakota… land sacred to the Natives of the region. Henry Standing Bear and his fellow chiefs wanted their counter-sculpture to represent someone who fought against the American empire. The choice was easy… Crazy Horse (killed by American soldiers on this day in 1877).

An Oglala Lakota (one of the many sub-branches of the Sioux people), Crazy Horse was born in 1840 at a time when the United States’ thirst for land was driving a bloody expansion into what remained of Native land in North America. Crazy Horse grew up with his younger brother, Little Hawk, in a Lakota camp in modern-day Wyoming. He had his first experience of US brutality there in 1854 that when Federal forces stormed the camp in search of a supposed cattle thief, murdering the camp’s chief, Conquering Bear, in the process. After this, Crazy Horse committed himself to a life of resistance against the USA and its growing empire.

He was well-suited to the task as a fearless warrior and shrewd tactician. By the mid-1860s, his band named him Ogle Tanka Un (“Shirt Wearer”… the war chief) for his successes in battle against US forces. Soon after, in December 1866, Crazy Horse led a decoy manoeuvre which enabled a combined force of Lakota and Cheyenne to defeat a US force ranging out of Fort Phil Kearny in northeast Wyoming. A lull followed, until the Natives of the north had their final showdown with the US empire… the Great Sioux War of 1876-77.

It began with an astonishing Native victory in the river lands of Montana. On 17 June 1876, at the Battle of the Rosebud, Crazy Horse led 1,500 soldiers in an attack against 1,000 US troops under George Crook. The action delayed Crook, who was trying to link up with the 7 Cavalry Regiment of Colonel George A Custer. The rest is well-known. On 25 June, beside the Little Bighorn River, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse led a large Native force to a dramatic victory against Custer. Crazy Horse’s earlier action at Rosebud Creek made this possible, and his bravery on the field was a defining feature of both battles. One eyewitness recalled of Crazy Horse at the Little Bighorn:

He was the bravest man I ever saw. He rode closest to the soldiers, yelling to his warriors. All the soldiers were shooting at him, but he was never hit.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn was the last great war-cry of Native America against its conquest. Alarmed by Custer’s defeat, the federal government poured more and more troops into the region. After a harsh winter in 1876-77, Crazy Horse surrendered to save his people from starvation and death. Later, on 5 September 1877, an American soldier bayoneted Crazy Horse whilst he was in US Army custody.

It goes without saying that no commemoration, whatever its scale, can redress the historical injustice done to the Native American people… an injustice upon which the modern USA was built. Three centuries of colonisation, genocide, and ethnic cleansing can’t be undone with a statue of Crazy Horse. However, such tributes can, at the very least, prevent the dispossession of Native Americans from being written out of the American story just because it’s an uncomfortable truth for those who rule. What’s more, the story of Crazy Horse and his resistance gives hope, not just to Native Americans, but to all who confront the forces of colonialism. To borrow the words of American journalist Chris Hedges:

There are few resistance figures in American history as noble as Crazy Horse. His ferocity of spirit remains a guiding light for all who seek lives of defiance.

By the way… the Crazy Horse Memorial is still under construction in the Black Hills of South Dakota!

5 September 2018

Pete Morgan

Radical Tea Towel

https://www.radicalteatowel.com/blog/crazy-horses-last-stand/

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Friday, 10 November 2017

The Civil War was About Slavery. Period. End of story. Deal With It.

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Slavery caused the Civil War. A failure to compromise had nothing to do with it. Yes, I know a thousand people have made that point in the days since White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s nonsensical assertion on Fox “News” that “the lack of ability to compromise” is what tore America apart. Allow me to be the thousand and first. There are things that need saying here, and I need to say them. It isn’t just that there is no “compromise” between slavery and freedom. It’s also that Kelly’s use of that word is painfully ironic in a nation that’s always been all too ready to bargain with the humanity of African-American people.

In 1776, in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson condemned slavery. Southern states baulked, so he compromised. In 1820, North and South argued whether the new state of Missouri would permit slavery. Congress intervened, so they compromised. In 1877, there was a disputed election. Someone suggested giving the presidency to Rutherford B Hayes if he agreed to withdraw federal troops that protected former slaves in the South. The two sides compromised. In 1961, the Freedom Riders pulled into Mississippi. The federal government made a deal with the state that if Mississippi guaranteed no violence, it could arrest the riders, though they’d done nothing illegal. They compromised. And so on. Historically, America always seems to find a way to sell black people out.

Kelly is just the latest in a long line of those who lack the guts to face this straight-on. They hide out in textbooks where slaves become “settlers”; they flee from Roots because it’s “depressing”. Moreover, they insist on moral equivalence between people sellers and the people they sold, lynchers and the people they lynched, traitors who fought to destroy America and patriots who fought to preserve it. Kelly added in the Fox interview:

Robert E Lee was an honourable man.

That’s an interesting take for a military man on an enemy general in a war that killed more Americans than Hitler, Hirohito, and Bin Laden combined. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in defending Kelly:

All of our leaders have flaws.

As if Lee’s ordering two men and a woman stripped to the waist and whipped (he did say, “Lay it on well”) for the crime of seeking freedom was in the same moral universe as Barack Obama’s cigarette jones. I can anticipate how all this would land among certain people. They’d call it “racist”. They’d call it “divisive”. They’d call it everything but untrue. You see, they deeply invested in the myth that their struggles with poverty, mass incarceration, joblessness, and miseducation arise from something African-Americans chose or did, while the rest of the country, innocent as the dawn, did nothing to cause or benefit from any of it. They’ll be angry at the reminder that this is ridiculous… as if this was about them. As if we should give a damn about their anger.

This country stole from black people. It stole their bodies, their children, their names, their land, and their lives. Now, some of them seek to steal the very memory of the crime. Well, let them tell a thousand lies. Let them treat truth like the money card in a game of three-card monte. Let them salve history with the balm of false equivalence. However, let them know that some of us find strength for our own trials in knowing the trials of our mothers and fathers. We won’t be fooled and we won’t be robbed. We will remember… and demand they do the same.

No compromise.

3 November 2017

Leonard Pitts Jr

Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article182630021.html

Friday, 20 October 2017

20 October 2017. You Can’t Pull Words Out of a Song!

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“You can’t pull words out of a song!” That’s an old Russian saying. That is, you can’t change the past. It’s what it is, whether you liked what happened or not. Should we remove statues of Robert E Lee or Jefferson Davis? I think that’s far deeper than what many believe it to be, both “liberal” and “conservative”. It’s not merely racism. That’s an evasion. Yes… racism was deep in the Confederate States of America. It lost its bid for national independence because it wouldn’t abandon human bondage. That’s all that the Brits wanted. If the secessionists had abolished slavery, the Royal Navy would’ve escorted British-flag ships into Southern ports… “free trade” was their mantra, after all.

Yet… racism wasn’t the only trope in the Confederacy. You demean them by defining them solely as such. Another point of contention, one still unresolved at present, I might add, was the relationship of the constituent states to the federal government. Still another was the cultural difference between the Southern and Northern states (a difference that still exists… a difference as deep as that between Prussians and Austrians). It was like the Whites in the Russian Civil War. Yes… they were for an Upper Middle Class dictatorship over all other classes (which was the primary reason for their failure), but that wasn’t the end-all and be-all of their movement.

American history is more than just slavery and the war against the Native population. Yes… both these themes are there and both are seminal, both are a blot on the national consciousness, but they’re not the entirety of the story. I’d be careful about removing statues. Today, it’s THEIR statues. Tomorrow, it’ll be YOURS. Do think on that…

BMD

20 October 2017. Morrell Threatens Russia… Who’s the REAL Aggressor?

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The USA threatens China, too… can you imagine the depth of insane megalomania that’s infested the American “leadership”?

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CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell said on the Charlie Rose Show that the USA should start killing Russians to give them a message. I should mention that both the USSR in the past and the Russian Federation in the present based their defence preparations on the premise that the deceitful Anglos would launch a sneak attack after a domestic media blitz demonising them. That position came from a close study of history. Russians are intent students of the past and draw the proper lessons, unlike false-hearted, arrogant, and hubristic Anglos.

In 1898, a press offensive preceded the American aggression against Spain. Spain wasn’t a threat to the USA. It was doing its best to avoid war. The USS Maine blew up in Havana harbour (most objective historians conclude it was a boiler explosion in a poorly designed and badly built ship), but the USA used it as a casus belli against Spain. In 1917, Wilhelmine Germany didn’t (and couldn’t) threaten the USA, but the Americans went to war anyway, after a press campaign vilifying Germany. In 1941, the USA placed draconian trade restrictions on Japan, in an attempt to force Japan to kowtow to American demands. Should I mention that the American press lambasted the Japanese? That led to the attack on Pearl Harbour (the Americans were expecting an attack on the Philippines… not an attack on their rear-area fleet base… the Japanese riposte unnerved the Yanks for six months). That ended in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the 80s, the Reagan junta vilified the USSR… they placed offensive instruments in Western Europe. Today, the Trump junta threatens Russia and places trade restrictions and onerous personal sanctions on individual Russians (such as Deputy Chairman of the Government D O Rogozin (the defence industry “tsar”), media luminary D K Kiselyov, and even musicians such as People’s Artist of the USSR I D Kobzon and Honoured Artist of Russia А А Karabanov).

Soviet (and present Russian) defence preparations rested on the assumption that the Anglos would strike first and without warning. The Soviet divisions in the DDR and Czechoslovakia were a covering force to allow the USSR to mobilise its reserves. The best conscripts and equipment were in the Western Military District (Byelorussia, Galicia, and Karpatskaya Krai). These divisions weren’t up to full strength in peacetime. The plan was for the reservists of the past few years to rejoin these units, shakedown, and unpack stored equipment so that these troops could be a counterstrike force against the Anglo aggressors. The troops in the DDR would absorb the initial American blow, give early warning of any such attack to rear echelons, and conduct a fighting withdrawal across Eastern Europe to the Soviet border. There, the forces in the Western Military District would strike the weakened and tired American aggressors, throwing them back to their original startlines (the Sovs knew that was the best outcome on offer, what with nuclear weapons in Yank hands). This had the advantage of confining most of the expected war damage to its East Bloc allies, not the USSR itself (the Sovs counted on nuclear weapons to keep the Anglos from attacking the USSR itself).

In like manner, Russian Federation warplans assume an American surprise attack (being students of history, Russians know that Americans are mendacious liars… the prime example of that being American mistreatment of Native Americans). Recent history proves this. The Yanks attacked in South Ossetia in 2008 and fomented the Ukrainian coup in 2014. Of course, the Russians also notice the American media offensive… something that happens prior to every American aggression.

Interestingly, the Anglos inserted their special ops forces (under the guise of PMC contractors… for deniability purposes) in both cases, but the Russians defeated them in open battle. In South Ossetia, the battle was for the Roki Tunnel… to block Russian movement to the battlefront. By all accounts, the Russians whipped the Yanks and their Georgian allies. Russia won that round. In the Ukraine, the Anglos sent in their special oppers to seize the Donetsk Airport (the plan was to seize it and airlift in friendly forces to crush the pro-Russian Peoples Republics in the Donbass). Motorola and Givi, leading a scratch force of Don Cossacks and Donetsk homeboys, routed the Yanks and their Polish allies. It wasn’t bright for the Americans to have brought in Poles… that led to a national stirring (but the Yanks don’t know history and hold it in contempt… so 1612 totally flew over their heads).

The Russian forces are on alert. They know that Americans are fiendish and grasping, beyond the measure of any other people. We live in dangerous and perilous times… may God preserve us. The Russian forces are on guard for peace… may God bless and keep them.

BMD

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