Tuesday - Sep 18, 2018

The Cliven Bundy standoff: Wounded Knee revisited?


Marvin J. RamirezMarvin Ramirez

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The topic of the following story, authored by Willian Norman, with Liberate Blog, is of historical nature, as well as political, sovereignty and God given rights. It’s about a recent issue still going on, where the Federal government is trying to steal the private property of an American family – their ranch. This family and many other families, also ranchers and militias – yes militias, you heard it right, like those ones mentions in the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States – recently stood up to heavily armed Federal agents, determined to confront and stop them from stealing the Cliven Bundy family property and cattle. Many feared and still fear, that the standoff would end like the 1993 event in the community of Elk, Texas, known as the Waco Massacre, where entire families where massacred by Federal and State law enforcement agents. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Siege. THIS IS PART 1 OF TWO.

by William Norman Grig
Pro Liberate Blog

We took away their country and their means of support, broke up their mode of living, their habits of life, introduced disease and decay among them, and it was for this and against this they made war. Could anyone expect less? – General Philip Sheridan, who presided over the expropriation of the Plains Indians, in the 1878 Annual Report of the General of the U.S. Army

Following the War Between the States, as the formerly independent South was being re-assimilated into the Soyuz, the U.S. military took up the task of driving the Plains Indians off of land that had been promised to them through solemn treaty obligations – but was now coveted by the corporatist railroad combine.

In 1867, William Sherman wrote a letter to General Grant insisting that “we are not going to let thieving, ragged Indians check and stop the progress” of the railroad. About a year earlier, Sherman had urged Grant to “act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women, and children.” Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo points out that Sherman set out to make the Sioux “feel the superior power of the Government,” even if “the final solution to the Indian problem” required that they be physically annihilated.

Writing in Smithsonian magazine, historian Gilbert King observes that the post-war U.S. military wasn’t adequate to carry out that ambitious campaign. General Philip Sheridan, who succeeded Sherman as Commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi, complained that he had only 14,000 troops with which to carry out “the reduction of these wild tribes and occupation of their country.”

Note that Sheridan 1didn’t equivocate in describing his army’s role as the occupier of a “country” that belonged, by right, to other people. He had no moral scruples against being an occupier; his objections were limited to practical concerns.

The Plains Indians were canny, elusive, and motivated. However, their dependence on the buffalo provided the aggressors with an exploitable vulnerability. Hunting the Indians was difficult and risky; slaughtering buffalo was neither.

The railroads, acting as a military force multiplier, began ferrying tourists to the West for the specific purpose of “sport-hunting” buffalo.

Unlike the Indians, who never threatened to hunt the buffalo to extinction, or Bill Cody, who was restrained in his efforts to harvest them to feed construction crews for the Kansas Pacific Railroad, the Eastern tourists had no property interest in the continued existence of the species, and didn’t have to pay any price for the profligate destruction they wrought.

“Massive hunting parties began to arrive in the West by train, with thousands of men packing .50 caliber rifles, and leaving a trail of buffalo carnage in their wake,” recalls King. “Hunters began killing buffalo by the hundreds of thousands,” leaving their ravaged bodies to bloat and fester.

When legislatures in some states attempted to enact measures to conserve the buffalo, their objections were overruled by the Feds. The higher “national purpose” required a “total war” strategy that included the destruction of the buffalo in order to break the resistance of the Plains Indians.

“These men have done more in the last two years, and will do more in the next year, to settle the vexed Indian question, than the entire regular army has done in the last forty years,” wrote General Sheridan with satisfaction.

“They are destroying the Indians’ commissary. And it is a well-known fact that an army losing its base of supplies is placed at a great disadvantage. Send them [the private buffalo hunters] powder and lead, if you will; but for a lasting peace, let them kill, skin and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated. Then your prairies can be covered with speckled cattle.”

Cattle became the successor to buffalo in the late 1860s and early 1870s. That was the era when the ancestors of Cliven Bundy settled in what was to become the State of Nevada, and began to graze cattle in what would later be called the Bunkerville Grazing Allotment. The Bundy family made peaceful and productive use of that allotment for more than 120 years, mixing their labor with the land to create original wealth.

Unfortunately, the Bundy family — like the American Indians – had been living on a reservation: They were never allowed to exercise ownership of their grazing “allotment,” in much the same way that Indians were not permitted to have clear title to their lands. The land on which the Bundy family raised cattle was “owned” by the government, and the Bundys were required to pay rent – in the form of grazing fees – for the “privilege” of making productive use of it. The public-land grazing system has been described as “the nation’s most conspicuous and extensive flirtation with socialism” – except, perhaps, for the Indian Reservation System. Indians whose lands were supposedly protected through treaties invariably discovered that the phrase “in perpetuity” means “pending the discovery of something valuable on the land that is desired by a politically favored constituency.”

The desired commodity could be gold – as the Nez Perce learned after their homeland in the luxuriant Wallowa Valley, having been reduced to a tiny, barren tract, was seized from them by General O.O. Howard. It could be fertile farm lands on the banks of the Niobrara River, as the Poncas discovered when they were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma.

Similar “adjustments” were made to practically every Indian band or tribe that signed a treaty in good faith with Washington – only to find themselves reduced to destitution when Washington withheld promised annuities and rations, and then evicted from their lands when it suited Leviathan’s interests.

The high and holy purpose of Manifest Destiny nullified the property rights of Indians and any treaty obligations that would inhibit Washington’s drive for continental expansion. SECOND PART WILL CONTINUE NEXT WEEK