Book Review: A Little Matter of Genocide


If the reader has not read literature like this before, he should have a great amount of ice nearby and a punch back ready.

The ice to cool the anger and rage that he feels when he puts the book down and the punch back when he picks it back up and sees the horrible atrocities listed in painful detail.

A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present is – for the first time in English – a complete and exhaustive one volume catalogue of the extermination of 100 million people from Columbus and then later the Americans all the way up to and continuing today.

There are other works of this type but they are many volumes and quite technical. Ward Churchill manages to distill all of this material into a hefty volume that is both readable, witty, full of promise and a source laden sword that one can take into any intellectual battle.

Setting the stage like a true scholar, Churchill defines terms, the most important being the term ‘genocide.’ As a stroke of genius he brings the very one who coined the term to prove that 1) no one has a monopoly on suffering or pain and that 2) the word genocide must be used within careful parameters to prevent it losing the power in the word.

The one who fails to understand these two points will either classify chickens turning on a rotisserie at Kentucky Fried chicken as a holocaust/genocide or only count one or two occurrences in history as ‘unique’ in tragic consequences.

Dr. Churchill, with great force and literary gusto, lays to rest the liberal flim-flam of ‘well, everyone in the world has done their fair share of slaughters; it’s just the way of the world.’

Maybe the Mongols did kill 42 million Chinese over 20 years, but they didn’t pass out poison blankets that they had thrust against their genitals and syphilis/small pox racked bodies.

Sure, some Christians were fed to the lions in Roman times, but other than the Crusaders (who killed 100,000 Muslims in Antioch in one day and then 70,000 at least at Jerusalem with some reports of them eating the bodies) who has played kick ball with heads and sold genitals in markets?

Yes, some of the ancient Arabs cut off heads as a penalty and trophy in war – but who (other than the Germanic Nazi cousins of the mainly Germanic Americans) hung them up at sky lodges or kept them in jars for generations?

The reader punches the air in victory when reading such verbal volleys as:

“Not to be outdone, the more prominent John Zerzan makes the utterly bizarre insinuation that, whatever happened to them, native people have no complaint since they themselves were “guilty” of having “colonised” plant life in their pre-Columbian fields. Sieg heil.” (A Little Matter of Genocide, pp. 6-7).

Then there is also:

“My response, at least in its’ short version, was (and remains) that celebration of Columbus and the European conquest of the Western Hemisphere he set off is generally analogous to celebration of the glories of Nazism and Heinrich Himmler.” (A Little Matter of Genocide, pp. 80-81).

And finally the always memorable footnote:

“Concerning shellfish  as an indicator of the extent the Columbia River has been contaminated, it should have been noted that a Hanford worker who dined on oysters harvested near the river’s mouth in 1962 reportedly ingested sufficient radioactivity in the process that he triggered the plant’s radiation alarm upon returning to work.” (A Little Matter of Genocide, pp. 321-322, second paragraph note on p. 322).

Churchill began his work by discussing the deafening silence surrounding the past and continued genocide of native people in the United States. When he tried to confront this beast, he was only rejected with scorn heaped upon him.

Persuasively and considered offensively, he makes the case that those who deny the Indian genocide are the same as those who deny the holocaust in the face of such overwhelming evidence.

Columbus receives a thorough treatment in the following chapter and removes the mask that is held in place by the American Educational Industrial Complex.

Readers are made to realise that the point of the Department of Justice is not for children in school to learn, but to become robots.

And then with the skill of a surgeon wielding his instrument, Dr. Churchill systematically and very painfully (the reader is held enthralled at this point, his back ramrod straight in attention while viewing the more than 500 sources that make up the bibliography of newspaper articles, books, magazines, posters and also historical photos) details the events from 1492 – 1992 and then 1607 – 1996.

The Cold War was also used as an excuse to absorb more land of the Indians and their rapacious means are laid out with enough sources to stretch to the moon.

The United States is seen in these pages to make laws to protect itself, protect itself from being a signatory to any of the genocide convention laws and other atrocities that truly show that global anti – Americanism is indeed justified in most cases.

This cliff hanger ends with the author stating – no demanding – that there needs to be a return to responsibility and that the United States, more than any other nation, needs to be held responsible for its’ homicidal behaviour.

The reader of this book realises that Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Charles Manson, the Green River Killer, the Zodiac Killer, George HW Bush, George W Bush, Ronald Reagan, Timothy McVeigh, John Allen Muhammad are not aberrations…no, rather they are the statement and proof of the norm.

Prosecution is the only real outcome, in fact the only humane way to deal with the world’s most famous gangster, its’ most bloodthirsty killer – the United States.

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