Badges of shame? Hardly

John Hall
Wed, 6 Mar 2002 11:09:46 -0800

1) Potato Famine - Ireland was invaded and suppressed by the English
hundreds of years before the potato famine.  The English might not have
slaughtered the Irish directly like a Tamerlane would, but they drove them
off of most of the land.  Had the land been well suited to wheat, there
wouldn't have been many Irish around to have a famine.  But it wasn't suited
to wheat, and the potato saved the Irish from being starved out for two
hundred years.  Then a natural disease caused famine in a one-crop economy.
Bottom Line: Capitalism had nothing to do with causing the Potato Famine.
It did have quite a bit to do with easing the pain because of the immigrants
Capitalist America imported.
2) Killing NA aboriginals.  It has been noted since Aristotle that when two
states collide and one is vastly superior then the weaker state is toast.
This applied planet wide, including within the North American aboriginals.
Cortez had a much easier time with the Mexica precisely because those they
dominated hated them.  Such things are 'non-unique' to an extent that the
only thing you can assign them to is human nature.  This of course skips
over the fact that most NA aboriginals that perished due to western
immigration did so through disease that was not deliberately spread.  Direct
killing and intentional infection were not the major causes of death to NA
3) The Great Depression was caused by government malfeasance, particularly
with regard to monetary policy.  Yet, at the height of the worst economic
disaster in US history poor people rode around in trucks.  I'm told that had
a stunning impact on Russian audiences that viewed "The Grapes of Wrath".
4) WWII?  That is a joke, right?  Or are you so incoherent that you think
WWII offers anything other than a lesson of Western triumph where Capitalism
was an important contributor?
5) The war in Vietnam.
"In the first two years after the fall of Saigon (1975-1977), there were
almost twice as many total civilian casualties in Southeast Asia - from the
Cambodian holocaust, outright executions, horrendous conditions in
concentration camps, and failed escapes by refugees - as all those incurred
during ten years of major American involvement (1965-1974).  When asked
about the thousands of doctors, engineers, and professionals sent to
concentration camps, a North Vietnamese official said, "We must get rid of
the bourgeois rubbish."  Yet in private, the communist chief of press
relations in Ho Chi Minh City remarked of emigration to America, "Open the
doors and everyone would leave overnight" (S. Karnow, Vietnam, 32, 36)"  --
Carnage and Culture p 425
"Exact numbers are in dispute, but most scholars accept that well over 1
million left by boat; and hundreds of thousands of others crossed by land
into neighboring Thailand and even China.  Aggregate numbers of fleeing
Vietnamese vastly exceeded the original trek south during the partition of
the country in 1954 that had numbered more than a million.  America alone
eventually took in 750,000 Vietnamese and Southeast Asians, other Western
countries another million.  Those who died in leaky boats or in storms
numbered between 50,000 and 100,000; ..." - Carnage and Culture p 425
The greatest moral crime of the anti-Vietnam activists is to examine the
human carnage that they helped create, and thereby admit the human disaster
they openly aided.
Bottom Line - America held the moral high ground in Vietnam and still does.
Those that disagree are blind to mass murder, poverty and brutalization.
That the war might not have been worth American lives and treasure given the
strategic calculus of real politics is true.  But on humanitarian grounds it
was certainly worth winning to defend the Vietnamese from the communist
Vietnam isn't a condemnation of America and capitalism except to the degree
that we lost to the barbarians.
Killing a communist, provided (a) that is why you kill them and (b) they
have a chance of gaining political power is a moral act.
Sortof comparable to the potato famine, the genocide of North American
aboriginals, the Great Depression, WW II,  The war in Vietnam (if you're