RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Thu Mar 07 2002 - 04:38:48 GMT

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    From: Jeremy Bradley <>
    Subject: RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
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    At 02:09 PM 6/03/02 -0000, you wrote:
    > <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.

    The above sentence contains the intimation that those who would espouse the
    rights of indigenous Australians are guilt ridden, bleeding-hearted
    do-gooders (all derogatory terms in my country).

    > 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.

    Ah, rose-tinted glasses, does not this call the wearer of such naively stupid?

    >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

    And here's the old meme that promulgates the nonsense that 'writing' is the
    only form of reliably recording history (I won't go into the numerous
    contrary examples). Besides the oral evidence, which includes a virulent
    mythscape and an oral tradition which is arguably more reliable than the
    manipulated and subjective texts on which we modern folk place so much
    trust, there is an historical record of great antiquity in cave art. In the
    literature I have read, and in the seminars, programs and discussions I
    have heard and/or participated in, I have heard no serious suggestion that
    mindless masacre of people occurred in this country before European invasion.
    If you would like to see Cpt. Cook's and Govenor Philip's orders go to , and for comment on the existing International Law of
    the time look for Blackstone's commentaries of 1740 or thereabouts (this is
    not the title but if you search your libraries DB I'm sure that you will
    find it.

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

    The appeal is not so much that I, or they for that matter, would like to
    revert to an ancient way of life, it is more that they were not suicidal in
    the way that we modern industrial-age products are. Each society is
    different in many ways of course and I will not be drawn further into

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

    Ah Vincent, at least I can find one sentence with which I can agree.
    Yours - stirred but not shaken

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