An episode, bloody, of US history

History seems an implacable pursuer – and that despite the best efforts of the very obliging ‘legacy’ media. This week an episode in the bloody history of the United States, one of extirpation and decimation and dehumanisation and dispossession, is commemorated.

Abby Zimet of Common Dreams recounts the event, Like Grass Before the Sickle An excerpt,

December 29 marks the 125th anniversary of the Wounded Knee massacre, when soldiers from the U.S. 7th Cavalry gunned down almost 300 cold, hungry, unarmed Lakota Sioux men, women and children who had come together for a Ghost Dance. For days, the bodies of Chief Big Foot (Spotted Elk) and his band lay frozen in the snow; they were eventually buried in a rough mass grave.

And that was just one of very many atrocities committed in the US, yet countless in other countries, where the role of the obliging media would be first to ignore the occurrence; if not, blame the victims; then rationalise the event – all a tragic mistake. Today’s NYT recollection of the 1890 massacre is instructive, and unsurprising.

A major consolation to the no longer small yet growing viewership of blogs and other digital media is that, unlike the many who rely on the corporate media, very few would have been credulous enough to accept the existence of the non-existent Muslim country of Agrabah, which their counterparts so fervently wanted to obliterate. Which answers the question, ‘What is propaganda?’

That myth of the benevolent and compassionate United States, all myth.

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