Monday, August 5

Savages vs US treatment of their enemies

"We came, we saw, he died."*
were the words of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton after the brutal murder without trial of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
She was cheering in a very happy disposition.
Libya was destroyed and 80.000 innocent civilians were killed, tortured and the chaos is installed.

It is obscene the way US government announces their crimes against humanity. Each invasion or manipulations to create chaos in a country is celebrated in the most amoral way.

Never in the history of humankind killing people was a reason of such joy and proud.
Not even in the Roman Empire.
Savages? No. On the contrary.
"In the book "Totem and Taboo" Freud makes an analogy between the savages and obsessive neurosis.
He did use the work of anthropologists and describe how savages treated their enemies. Take a look at this little excerpt:.


"Inclined as we may have been to ascribe to savage and semi-savage races uninhibited and remorseless cruelty towards their enemies, it is of great interest to us to learn that with them, too, the killing of a person compels the observation of a series of rules which are associated with taboo customs. These rules are easily brought under four groups; they demand 1. reconciliation with the slain enemy, 2. restrictions, 3. acts of expiation, and purifications of the manslayer, and 4. certain ceremonial rites. The incomplete reports do not allow us to decide with certainty how general or how isolated such taboo customs may be among these races, but this is a matter of indifference as far as our interest in these occurrences is concerned. Still, it may be assumed that we are dealing with widespread customs and not with isolated peculiarities.

The reconciliation customs practised on the island of Timor, after a victorious band of warriors has returned with the severed heads of the vanquished enemy, are especially significant because the leader of the expedition is subject to heavy additional restrictions. “At the solemn entry of the victors, sacrifices are made to conciliate the souls of the enemy; otherwise one would have to expect harm to come to the victors. A dance is given and a song is sung in which the slain enemy is mourned and his forgiveness is implored: ‘Be not angry’, they say ‘because your head is here with us; had we been less lucky, our heads might have been exposed in your village. We have offered the sacrifice to appease you. Your spirit may now rest and leave us at peace. Why were you our enemy? Would it not have been better that we should remain friends? Then your blood would not have been spilt and your head would not have been cut off’”[46].

Similar customs are found among the Palu in Celebes; the Gallas sacrifice to the spirits of their dead enemies before they return to their home villages[47].
Other races have found methods of making friends, guardians and protectors out of their former enemies after they are dead. This consists in the tender treatment of the severed heads, of which many wild tribes of Borneo boast. When the See-Dayaks of Sarawak bring home a head from a war expedition, they treat it for months with the greatest kindness and courtesy and address it with the most endearing names in their language. The best morsels from their meals are put into its mouth, together with titbits and cigars. The dead enemy is repeatedly entreated to hate his former friends and to bestow his love upon his new hosts because he has now become one of them. It would be a great mistake to think that any derision is attached to this treatment, horrible though it may seem to us[48].

Observers have been struck by the mourning for the enemy after he is slain and scalped, among several of the wild tribe of North America. When a Choctaw had killed an enemy he began a month’s mourning during which he submitted himself to serious restrictions. The Dakota Indians mourned in the same way. One authority mentions that the Osaga Indians after mourning for their own dead mourned for their foes as if they had been friends[49].

Source: Gutenberg Project.

*"We came, we saw, he died" is a parody of Julius Caesar's words:

"In May of 47 B.C., after Julius Caesar had left a pregnant Cleopatra, soon to bear their son Caesarion, Caesar defeated Pharnaces of Pontus near the town of Zela. Caesar claimed he routed and captured the enemy in 4 hours. To inform the Senate of his victory, Caesar succinctly wrote, veni, vidi, vici 'I came, I saw, I conquered'.

No comments: