I’ll concede to you that my use of the word “genocide” was not merely incorrect but wrong; however, I’ll stand by my point on this topic which is the mistreatment of Native Americans by the United States government. There was a policy of forced relocation. That policy, I believe, meets the definition of atrocity.

Inevitability, as you articulated above, doesn’t make it morally or ethically right.

You said, “We were beat up pretty badly in the beginning.” The problem for me it that I don’t per se fall into that category of we. My family cannot trace its beginnings here back to the 1680's. My family's origins here began with an Irishman stowing away on a ship sailing here during the Irish Potato Famine. That Irishman later married a Native American.

Edelphia was a member of the Cherokee nation. Because of my heritage, I have a great deal of empathy for the treatment of Native Americans.

I unconditionally love our country; however, that doesn’t mean that I can’t have legitimate critiques of our government, its agents, its policies, or of the policies or actions of groups within our country.

In an effort to demonstrate my perspective on this, I’m going to use an analogy.

Drug addiction is a horrible thing which often creates a dynamic where loved ones have to choose how to approach the addict. One approach is to ignore the situation and pretend it isn’t occurring, another is to enable the addict by making excuses for them, and the third option is to confront the addict regarding the situation.

Ignoring the situation or enabling the addict is likely a pathway for death and in one of the situations, the enabler may be seen as a party to the death (not legally, mind you).

In my opinion, confronting the addict is the only moral and ethical path because at least then the confronter will have done what is ultimately about the only thing they can do.

In none of the three scenarios I’ve mentioned does it mean the loved one doesn’t love the addict, it just means they view and act on the situation in different ways.

Our county is like that addict. Manifest Destiny was an entitled vision that expansion from the east coast to the west coast was inevitable. The problem, in my view, is that Manifest Destiny never stopped at the West coast. According to Ron Paul, we have 700+ known U.S. government facilities in 130 countries around the world. I recently discussed this topic with an individual who asserted that we are not an empire despite these facilities around the world simply because we don’t have an emperor. I don’t think a legitimate case can be made that we are an empire according to the strict definition of the term but, what then, are we? We are addicted to expansion, natural resources, influence, power, and control.

I love America the addict but I’m not willing to ignore the addiction. I’m not going to enable the addiction by making excuses or justifying it. My only moral and ethical choice is to confront the addiction. My confrontation is exactly because I DO love my country not because I do not.

I believe that much like the Roman Empire that collapsed under the weight of its expansiveness, we are running the same risk. How much is it costing us financially to grow and maintain our facilities and interests abroad? I believe it’s unsustainable. We are literally going broke because of our foreign policy. I don’t hold these views or speak on them because I’m anti-American or hate America. I can love my country and still dissent from the policies thereof.

There’s a quote that says seek first to understand then to be understood. So in that light, there are things I want to understand from you. I’d really appreciate your views on the war in Iraq. I’m not bringing that up to bait you or attempt to divert from any previous discussions. I don’t necessarily wish to debate or argue the subject. I simply want your perspective on it from whatever angle you may choose to discuss it.

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