RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Wed Mar 06 2002 - 14:09:25 GMT

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
    Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 14:09:25 -0000 
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            <Egotistical, barbaric colonists came here to Australia a mere 214
    > ago. They disobeyed their King, International Law and their instructions
    > from the Colonial Office; not to mention their Church.
    > In that short span of time they and their 'civilised' descendants caused
    > so
    > much damage socially and environmentally that it is a tragedy of
    > inconceivable proportions. I have had the opportunity to live with several
    > 'tribal' groups and I have no hesitation in assuring you that these are
    > civilised people in any sense of the word. It is a part of the process of
    > inter racial conflict to denigrate those whom you would dispossess. It is
    > a
    > shame that to speak up on their behalf is to invite such as yourself to
    > indulge in name-calling, but you are not the first and you won't be the
    > last.
    > Yes, at times (and under special circumstances), some of the Australian
    > peoples also participated in what may today be thought of as 'uncivilised'
    > practices, but they never plundered or massacred like their invaders and
    > they did live sustainably. If we can learn to do likewise, I will be
    > impressed by that too.>
            Oops, look like I did stir up an Aussie...

            No dispute on the terrible impact of colonists from Britain on
    Australia's indigenous peoples, flora and fauna.

            I don't believe I actually did any name-calling, only expressed the
    view that there is a tendency to over-celebrate indigenous peoples out of
    guilt over past atrocities committed against them. Aboriginal rights are
    incredibly important and need to be seriously considered and treated with
    respect, as certainly as they have been stampeded over in the past.

            But that doesn't allow one to view peoples with rose-tinted glasses.
    How do you know they never plundered or massacred each other? Because they
    told you? They have no written records, no monumental architecture to
    indicate what their extremely long history involved outside of their oral
    traditions. Oral history traditions in cultures are problematic due to
    questions of collective forgetting etc that has come up recently on the

            I'm always bemused by the celebrators of the subsistence lifestyles
    of indigenous peoples, I can't see the appeal.

            In the same way that values/practices that are Western are not
    inherently good, neither are values/practices that are non-Western.


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