Greetings, Gentle Reader,

Do Americans remember these words? "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

How about these? "... America! America! May God thy gold refine, Till all success be nobleness, And every gain divine ... God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea."

Compare those with the German national anthem, "Deutschland, Deutschland, Über Alles!" Translated straight across, those words mean, "Germany, Germany, Over All." Americans think that means the same as "Girls rule!" or maybe "We’re The Greatest!" Not so. They refer to the royal, racial right of Germany to rule the entirety of humanity. When they say "rule," they actually mean "rule."

Compare "Give me your tired, your poor," with, "(T)he only person who matters is Allah – and the only question he will ask me is, ‘How many infidels did you kill?’ "

When Neville Chamberlain came back to England, he said he had secured "peace in our time" by giving Czechoslovakia, a country "...of which we know little" to Hitler. Then at war’s end, Roosevelt gave Eastern Europe to Stalin, because Roosevelt was sure, "...Uncle Joe will do the right thing." These two, the Brit and the American, had the worldly understanding of babes in the woods.

When American "human shields" went to Iraq before the war, they were astonished Saddam put them around his strategic systems, instead of in front of his vulnerable citizens. They naively supposed he cared about the welfare of Iraqi people, though a minute amount of research would’ve informed them he and his sons had killed – and were continuing to kill – Iraqis by the millions. Sometimes he killed for entertainment, sometimes for military research, sometimes as minefield sweepers (It was their job to be blown up by Iranian land mines.).

These idealistic Americans had no clue. They were acting on the propaganda they so eagerly had swallowed. They’re still doing so.

Why are those words, "Give me your tired, your poor,..." written at the statue of liberty? Why is, "..till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine...and crown thy good with brotherhood..." different from "Über Alles" or, "How many infidels did you kill?"

The French shouted, "Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!," then they cranked up the guillotine and shed French blood until it actually ran down the streets. Then they wondered why their gains were anything but divine.

Many Americans think we did the same to the Indians. That’s what they see on TV. Those who were taught American history by teachers who knew nothing of their own ancestors’ struggles – and few do – or by the Ward Churchill types, don’t know both sides of the story. And there were two sides.

When the Pilgrims arrived on these shores, they were peaceful Christians. They came not to harm, but to worship their God and to teach the Indians Christianity. They bought land from tribes eager to establish the naive newcomers as a buffer between them and the ferocious tribes that consistently preyed upon them. That afforded peaceful tribes a degree of safety, and allowed them to teach the inexperienced Pilgrims to survive both climate and predacious tribes. Still, each exacted a tragic toll.

One entire group of settlers, surrounded by both peaceful and warlike Indians, disappeared without a trace. Since kidnaping and selling captives into slavery was a lucrative business for some tribes (It happened in my ancestors’ family.), the disappearance wasn’t an unheard of occurrence.

It’s time we Americans, though inheritors of noble rather than base intent, shed our politically-correct naivete and discover the real world. There are bloodthirsty tyrants and idiotic young martyrs out there. If we want to survive, we’d better understand our enemies and learn to fight smart, as well as hard.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Until next time,

Muriel Sluyter


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