The Sand Creek logic of the Gaza massacre

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Using numbers alone, the offensive against Gaza is an abject massacre. At the time of this writing, 10 Israelis have died, including three civilians. The Palestinian numbers are constantly rising, but at this moment at least 660 Palestinians have been killed, hundreds of them civilians. Many thousands more have been seriously injured and Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis on a scale unfamiliar even to many Palestinians.

It is interesting to put Gaza in the context of an earlier atrocity.

In November 1864, the worst single massacre of American Indians in western settlement took place in the frozen plains of territorial Colorado southeast of Denver. A regiment of Colorado volunteer cavalry led by Colonel John Chivington attacked without warning a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, who were peacefully camped along the Sand Creek.

The Native American tribes were there both with government treaty and explicit territorial permission. They flew not only a white flag of surrender, but also an American flag over the village. In fact, most of the Native American men of fighting age were off hunting, because they rightly assumed their encampment was safe. Instead, Chivington and his men massacred the entire village.


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