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View Diary: How Did the Gates of Hell Open in Vietnam? (58 comments)

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  •  Not the first time American soldiers did this (7+ / 0-)

    We could talk about the genocide perpetrated against native Americans, or the millions of Filipinos killed around the turn of the 20th century.  Planned murder is part and parcel of American history.

    BTW, scheduled for republishment in the Readers and Book Lovers group for 6PM ET.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:37:58 AM PST

    •  The Native Americans weren't saints either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      I'm not saying that the Native Americans were treated fairly, but there were a series of wars and there were a number of atrocities by the Native Americans.  Their decimation by disease had a tragic inevitability to it that was truly unpreventable.

      •  Hey, it was their country first (7+ / 0-)

        and we came and took it away from them, piece by piece, lie by lie, broken treaty by broken treaty.

        Is it any surprise they fought back when, where, and in any way they could?

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:38:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't blame them, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder

          You couldn't surrender to Native Americans.  As a Westerner, if you were captured in a raid, you might live the rest of your life in one of their villages a very happy person, or you might be sacrificed to some god in a horrible manner.  

          Just about every bit of the planet is soaked in someone's blood.  How much Native American blood was spilled by them prior to our arrival?  They were not one tribe or people.  The similarities between the Aztecs and the Iroquois are minimal.  If the Aztecs weren't stopped by the Spaniards, we might now be talking about the extermination of the Northern American Indians by the Aztecs instead of by the white man.  

          •  All the Aztecs' neighbors hated them (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder

            but hadn't yet got to the point of ganging up on them and pulling them down. Then along came Cortez and talked them into it (he had to knock a few heads together first, and not only Native ones, IIRC).

            The trouble with the Aztecs was that some lunatic fanatic named Tlacaelel (I understand he was the brother of the ruler at that time, probably Moctezuma II's grandpa) drastically upscaled the sacrifice count out of some kind of nightmare belief that the sun would go out if they didn't.

            That level of bloodshed was not sustainable.

            Speaking of tribal/national differences, the Mayans were no angels either, but at least their sacrificial demands were relatively moderate and they had the option of offering your own blood (drawn from earlobes or tongue or, well, ahem) rather than just offing some poor captive or criminal. (The Spanish still thought they were weird as all heck, and spent two centuries conquering them one village at a time - which was necessary, since there was no central government.)

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:58:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And there was the ball game (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              Which people originally said involved sacrificing the winners but that was likely untrue.  The losers were more likely the ones that were sacrificed and the games were often rigged in that the "home team" would effectively be professional players while the "away team" might be put together on the spot and made to play.

              The Aztecs were interesting in that their religion, which demanded the blood sacrifice to keep the gods in the proper harmonious alignment, apparently wasn't very old as far as such things go.  How you create a brand spanking new religion and then say "oh by the way, we need a ton of sacrifice" is beyond me.

              •  The Aztecs took up the established pantheon (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Blanchy

                of the established Nahuatl-speaking groups in the area, and simply added their own variations. The upscaled body count came later.

                If you're wondering how one religious fanatic can cause major, even catastrophic, changes to local culture, I suggest you consider Girolamo Savonarola. He almost single-handedly destroyed the Renaissance spirit in Florence in a few short years, getting the Florentines to burn all their "vanities" (including paintings by the leading artists of the day, which we would have loved to have) and dropping it from the leading center of art and culture in northern Italy to a provincial backwater. He was eventually condemned and burned as a heretic, but the damage was done - and the cultural center of Italy shifted irrevocably back to Rome.

                If it's
                Not your body,
                Then it's
                Not your choice
                And it's
                None of your damn business!

                by TheOtherMaven on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:29:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Take a look around (0+ / 0-)

                Modern Wall Street capitalism requires mass unemployment (and the attendant suicides, premature deaths, bankruptcies, homelessness, and local gang wars) and endless foreign wars with millions of dead.  

                It's pretty new - less than a century old - and if it's not a religion, I don't know what is.  

                We're getting ready for our next sacrifice to the Austerity Market God.  The Democrats want to give the poor and middle class some anesthesia as they are marched up the pyramids.  The Republicans think for the Market God to bless the country, the victims need to writhe and scream as their hearts are ripped out.  Both sides are Aztecs.

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