So we’re all in an uproar about Russia (formerly the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”) trying to take Ukraine back in the fold.
How is that different from when the Europeans came over here to North America and “took back” the East Coast, the Great Midwestern Plains and the West Coast and virtually all of North America back from the Sioux, Apache, Comanche, Hunkpapa, Payute, Incas, Mayans and all the others who were here before we ever knew the place existed?
Oh… wait a minute.
I figured it out:
“Finders keepers, losers weepers.”
So Columbus or the Vikings or whoever “discovered” our continent, meaning to say they “found” it and got to keep it. The Europeans (i. e. “White guys”) were the “finders”.
The Ukraine was once part of the USSR, but after the break-up of Russia, they could never get the Ukraine back. The Commies were the “losers”.
In order to avoid the use the tools and means of conventional or specifically nuclear warfare, I wonder if Putin will ever think of the small pox laced blankets that have worked so well in the past.
And while I’m at it: “Indian givers”.
The term is defined in Wikipedia (and other more conventionally cited sources such as Merriam-Webster) as:
“… according to researcher David Wilton, in a cultural misunderstanding that arose when Europeans first encountered Native Americans on arriving in North America in the 15th century. Europeans thought they were receiving gifts from Native Americans, while the Native Americans believed they were engaged in bartering; this resulted in the Native Americans finding European behaviour ungenerous and insulting.”
I’ve come to think of the phrase as, for instance, the newly established “Americans” taking massive amount of the Great Midwestern Plains from the indigenous peoples but “giving them” the Paha Sapa, the Black Hills, “the center of the world, the place of the gods, where the warriors would go to wait for visions and to speak to the Great Spirit. In 1868, a treaty was signed which granted Paha Sapa to the Indians forever.” (*)
However (and anyone familiar with the history should know there were one of those coming), “in 1872 miners began to invade the Black Hills in a search for gold. In 1874 the Army ordered a reconnaissance mission. The Indians were not even notified, much less asked for permission. George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry were sent on this mission. Custer reported that the hills were filled with gold ‘from the grass roots down.'” (**)
The good folks back in D. C. had decided that the 1868 treaty was in error, was void because the Lakota were not a “sovereign nation” and the U.S. does not enter into treaties with such lowly bunches of rag-tag transients.
The United States of America took back the sacred lands they had “given” to the Lakota nation and then had the unmitigated gall to carve the gigantic noggins of the “American” “chiefs” into the side of these sacred lands.
That would seem to be more in keeping with the generally accepted understanding of the childish, Elementary School playground definitions of “Indian giver”:
you give me something then take it back.
Only we were the “you” for the purposes of this definition.
And in terms of the more formal definition quoted above, the indigenous tribes never “gave” us all that land expecting to be given some of their own land back, or to be allowed to keep it.
They were invaded.
And know we’re full circle back to another playground taunt:
“Finders keepers, losers weepers.”
Because it suited our purpose.
I shudder to think of what would follow Putin and his Merry Men taking back the Ukraine.
And don’t even try to hit me with the “moral equivalency” bullshit, but it would be nothing different than what the Great White Father pulled off back in the 1870s.
(*) (**) Quotations found in http://www.hanksville.org/daniel/lakota/BlackHills.html