Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Mark Steyn: Before the white man came? War
Macleans ^ | 07/18/06 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 07/18/2006 7:45:03 AM PDT by Pokey78

We've deluded ourselves into believing in the myth of the noble and peaceful primitive

Nicholas Wade's Before The Dawn is one of those books full of eye-catching details. For example, did you know the Inuit have the largest brains of any modern humans? Something to do with the cold climate. Presumably, if this global warming hooey ever takes off, their brains will be shrinking with the ice caps.

But the passage that really stopped me short was this:

"Both Keeley and LeBlanc believe that for a variety of reasons anthropologists and their fellow archaeologists have seriously underreported the prevalence of warfare among primitive societies. . . . 'I realized that archaeologists of the postwar period had artificially "pacified the past" and shared a pervasive bias against the possibility of prehistoric warfare,' says Keeley."

That's Lawrence Keeley, a professor at the University of Illinois. And the phrase that stuck was that bit about artificially pacifying the past. We've grown used to the biases of popular culture. If a British officer meets a native -- African, Indian, whatever -- in any movie, play or novel of the last 30 years, the Englishman will be a sneering supercilious sadist and the native will be a dignified man of peace in perfect harmony with his environment in whose tribal language there is not even a word for "war" or "killing" or "weapons of mass destruction." A few years ago, I asked Tim Rice, who'd just written the lyrics for Disney's Aladdin and The Lion King, why he wasn't doing Pocahontas. "Well, the minute they mentioned it," he said, "I knew the Brits would be the bad guys. I felt it was my patriotic duty to decline." Sure enough, when the film came out, John Smith and his men were the bringers of environmental devastation to the New World. "They prowl the earth like ravenous wolves," warns the medicine man, whereas Chief Powhatan wants everyone to be "guided to a place of peace." Fortunately, Captain Smith comes to learn from Pocahontas how to "paint with all the colours of the wind."

In reality, Pocahontas's fellow Algonquin Indians were preyed on by the Iroquois, "who took captives home to torture them before death," observes Nicholas Wade en passant. The Iroquois? Surely not. Only a year or two back, the ethnic grievance lobby managed to persuade Congress to pass a resolution that the United States Constitution was modelled on the principles of the Iroquois Confederation -- which would have been news to the dead white males who wrote it. With Disney movies, one assumes it's just the modishness of showbiz ignoramuses and whatever multiculti theorists they've put on the payroll as consultants. But professor Keeley and Steven LeBlanc of Harvard disclose almost as an aside that, in fact, their scientific colleagues were equally invested in the notion of the noble primitive living in peace with nature and his fellow man, even though no such creature appears to have existed. "Most archaeologists," says LeBlanc, "ignored the fortifications around Mayan cities and viewed the Mayan elite as peaceful priests. But over the last 20 years Mayan records have been deciphered. Contrary to archaeologists' wishful thinking, they show the allegedly peaceful elite was heavily into war, conquest and the sanguinary sacrifice of beaten opponents.... The large number of copper and bronze axes found in Late Neolithic and Bronze Age burials were held to be not battle axes but a form of money."

And on, and on. Do you remember that fabulously preserved 5,000-year-old man they found in a glacier in 1991? He had one of those copper axes the experts assured us were an early unit of currency. Unfortunately for this theory, he had it hafted in a manner that suggested he wasn't asking, "Can you break a twenty?" "He also had with him," notes professor Keeley, "a dagger, a bow, and some arrows; presumably these were his small change." Nonetheless, anthropologists concluded that he was a shepherd who had fallen asleep and frozen peacefully to death in a snowstorm. Then the X-ray results came back and showed he had an arrowhead in him.

Not for the first time, the experts turn out to be playing what children call "Opposite Land." There's more truth in Cole Porter's couplet from Find Me A Primitive Man:

I don't mean the kind that belongs to a club But the kind that has a club that belongs to him.

Although Porter was the kind that belongs to a club, the second line accurately conveys his own taste in men. He'd have been very annoyed if Mister Primitive had turned out to be some mellow colours-of-your-windiness hippy-dippy granola-cruncher.

Lawrence Keeley calculates that 87 per cent of primitive societies were at war more than once per year, and some 65 per cent of them were fighting continuously. "Had the same casualty rate been suffered by the population of the twentieth century," writes Wade, "its war deaths would have totaled two billion people." Two billion! In other words, we're the aberration: after 50,000 years of continuous human slaughter, you, me, Bush, Cheney, Blair, Harper, Rummy, Condi, we're the nancy-boy peacenik crowd. "The common impression that primitive peoples, by comparison, were peaceful and their occasional fighting of no serious consequence is incorrect. Warfare between pre-state societies was incessant, merciless, and conducted with the general purpose, often achieved, of annihilating the opponent."

Why then, against all the evidence, do we venerate the primitive? And to the point of pretending a bunch of torturing marauders devised the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution. We do it for the same reason we indulge behaviour like that at Caledonia, Ont. We want to believe that the yard, the cul-de-sac, the morning commute, the mall are merely the bland veneer of our lives, and that underneath we are still that noble primitive living in harmony with the great spirits of the forest and the mountain. The reality is that "civilization" -- Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian -- worked very hard to stamp out the primitive within us, and for good reason.

I was interested to read Wade's book after a month in which men raised in suburban Ontario were charged with a terrorist plot that included plans to behead the Prime Minister, and the actual heads of three decapitated police officers were found in the Tijuana River. The Mexican drug gangs weren't Muslim last time I checked, but evidently decapitation isn't just for jihadists anymore: if you want to get ahead, get a head. A couple of years back, I came across a column in The East African by Charles Onyango-Obbo musing on the return of cannibalism to the Dark Continent. Ugandan-backed rebels in the Congo (four million dead but, as they haven't found a way to pin it on Bush, nobody cares) had been making victims' relatives eat the body parts of their loved ones. You'll recall that, when Samuel Doe was toppled as Liberia's leader, he was served a last meal of his own ears. His killers kept his genitals for themselves, under the belief that if you eat a man's penis you acquire his powers. One swallow doesn't make a summer, of course, but I wonder sometimes if we're not heading toward a long night of re-primitivization. In his shrewd book Civilization And Its Enemies, Lee Harris writes:

"Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe. . . . That, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary."

It's worse than Harris thinks. We're not merely "forgetful." We've constructed a fantasy past in which primitive societies lived in peace and security with nary a fear that their crops would be stolen or their children enslaved. War has been the natural condition of mankind for thousands of years, and our civilization is a very fragile exception to that. What does it say about us that so many of our elites believe exactly the opposite -- that we are a monstrous violent rupture with our primitive pacifist ancestors? It's never a good idea to put reality up for grabs. You can bet your highest-denomination axe on that.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: academicbias; cannibalism; cannibals; deadwhilemales; eatyourheartout; frenchandindianwar; godsgravesglyphs; indians; indoctrination; injuns; liberalismrunamok; marksteyn; multicuturalism; nativeamericans; natives; paleface; pc; pocahontas; politicalcorrectness; politicallycorrect; primitives; primitivewar; reeducationcenters; revisionisthistory; savageindians; savages; savethemales; selfloathing; steyn; tonto; war; warfare; wars; whiteeyes
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-209 next last

1 posted on 07/18/2006 7:45:04 AM PDT by Pokey78
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...

Steyn ping!


2 posted on 07/18/2006 7:48:04 AM PDT by Pokey78 (‘FREE [INSERT YOUR FETID TOTALITARIAN BASKET-CASE HERE]’)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
when Samuel Doe was toppled as Liberia's leader, he was served a last meal of his own ears.

Here's dinner Tookie?

3 posted on 07/18/2006 7:50:03 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

Good article. Thanks.


4 posted on 07/18/2006 7:50:44 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

I remember a mention in an article somewhere a few years ago about a nineteenth-century memoir by a transported british convict who escaped in the 1830's and spent twelve years with the Australian aboriginies. According to him the clans were incessantly warring, almost none of the men lived to middle age.

Quite the contrast to the popular image of recent decades.


5 posted on 07/18/2006 7:51:37 AM PDT by sinanju
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

Superb article.


6 posted on 07/18/2006 7:54:37 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings...Modesty hides my thighs in her wings...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
"Most archaeologists," says LeBlanc, "ignored the fortifications around Mayan cities and viewed the Mayan elite as peaceful priests. But over the last 20 years Mayan records have been deciphered. Contrary to archaeologists' wishful thinking, they show the allegedly peaceful elite was heavily into war, conquest and the sanguinary sacrifice of beaten opponents."

In the last 30 years archaelogists have decided that the cliff dwellings of the American Southwest, with their obvious defensive purpose, actually had nothing to do with warfare.

Apparently, after many centuries living in indefensible pueblos on the mesa tops, they just decided, for no particular reason, to move into the incredibly inconvenient but highly defensible cliff dwellings.

7 posted on 07/18/2006 7:55:14 AM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Our modern history has been severely altered by the jihadist MSM including the AQTimes, from WWII to the present. Revisit almost any past issue with the knowledge that the AQTimes, along with CBS, Hollywood, etc. had a treasonous agenda, and the entire game unravels.

From Stalin to McCarthy to Nixon to Watergate to Reagan to Bush, the outright lies of the MSM have distorted our own understanding of the very world around us.

The head of the snake is the AQTimes.


8 posted on 07/18/2006 7:56:03 AM PDT by Stallone (Mainstream Media is dead. I helped kill it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

9 posted on 07/18/2006 7:56:14 AM PDT by Killborn (Pres. Bush isn't Pres. Reagan. Then again, Pres. Regan isn't Pres. Washington. God bless them all.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

recommending Mark Ritchie's "Spirit of the Rainforest" (again) for further thoughts along this line.


10 posted on 07/18/2006 8:01:15 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (dust off the big guns.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

Keeley wrote a book called "War Before Civilization," which I read some years back, which covers this subject (doubtless why Steyn quoted him). It's an eye-opening dissection of the "noble savage" myth. Can't wait to read Wade's "Before the Dawn."


11 posted on 07/18/2006 8:02:08 AM PDT by harmodius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Killborn

Hobbes on man in the state of nature:

"No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."


12 posted on 07/18/2006 8:03:21 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
In reality, Pocahontas's fellow Algonquin Indians were preyed on by the Iroquois...

Some of my ancestors were the Huron, and the Iroquois did the same to them. Of course, our problem was that we allied ourselves with the French white men, who were not very good fighters even back in those days.

Of course, we were not as good of fighters as the Iroquois, so that may have had something to do with it.

13 posted on 07/18/2006 8:05:29 AM PDT by sima_yi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

Bingo. Hobbes nailed the nature of man better than all the pointy heads in the world combined.


14 posted on 07/18/2006 8:06:17 AM PDT by Killborn (Pres. Bush isn't Pres. Reagan. Then again, Pres. Regan isn't Pres. Washington. God bless them all.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Restorer

When Einstein heard of Fermi's chain reaction, he said "now everything has changed except man himself." While civilization may have reduced our tendency to commit mayhem, it has also vastly increased our capacity to pursue it if we choose to do so.


15 posted on 07/18/2006 8:06:36 AM PDT by p. henry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

There has been war since Cain killed Abel. There is NO peace in the heart of ANY man, white, black or otherwise. Just like there will be no peace in the Middle East till God decides otherwise.


16 posted on 07/18/2006 8:06:45 AM PDT by cyborg (then comes baby in the baby carriage)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

Bump for later.


17 posted on 07/18/2006 8:06:55 AM PDT by ExpatGator (Extending logic since 1961.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

REALLY good article.


18 posted on 07/18/2006 8:07:49 AM PDT by EternalHope (Boycott everything French forever. Including their vassal nations.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78; SunkenCiv

Bump and thanks for the marvelous Steyn ping, Pokey!

Sunkenciv, this seems right up your GGG alley. . .


19 posted on 07/18/2006 8:12:31 AM PDT by alwaysconservative (Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

After Braddock's defeat in the French and Indian War, young Washington survived, but the camp-follower women did not. One pregant young lady was dismembered, she and her infant thrown in a pot, and they were eaten. Historian Alan Eckert points out that they ate her a bit underdone because they were in a hurry.

The Indian in "Last of the Mohicans" who eats the heart of the English commander is not a bad portrayal of a lot that went on. (The whites had their moments, too, such as the murder of Chief Logan's family, and the massacre of the Moravian {Christian} Indians.)

The point is that they weren't pure and peaceful savages.

I understand that these traditions were totally rejected by one noble warrior who came on the scene and was disgusted by this behavior....a guy named Tecumseh.


20 posted on 07/18/2006 8:14:02 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Supporting the troops means praying for them to WIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: harmodius

The idea of "the noble savage" came from the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau. Yet ANOTHER half-baked idea we can blame on the French!


21 posted on 07/18/2006 8:14:40 AM PDT by Miss Marple (Lord, please look after Mozart Lover's and Jemian's sons and keep them strong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple

Rousseau was actually Swiss. He was born in Geneva.


22 posted on 07/18/2006 8:18:09 AM PDT by You Dirty Rats (I Love Free Republic!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
... but evidently decapitation isn't just for jihadists anymore: if you want to get ahead, get a head.

Snicker...

23 posted on 07/18/2006 8:18:16 AM PDT by Paradox (Removing all Doubt since 1998!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Stallone
Sleeping with the enemy BUMP:

Which Side is the New York Times On?

24 posted on 07/18/2006 8:19:16 AM PDT by weegee (Seasons greetings and happy holidays this June-July!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: NCSteve
His killers kept his genitals for themselves, under the belief that if you eat a man's penis you acquire his powers. One swallow doesn't make a summer, of course,...

O, NE ZOT! This is just too much, before lunch and everything!

25 posted on 07/18/2006 8:19:42 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Whiskey for my men, hyperbolic rodomontade for my horses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: p. henry

Yup.

Although we generally discount the efficiency of "primitive" weapons.

The huge death toll in Rwanda was achieved almost entirely with sticks and knives.

The Romans, at Cannae, lost 50,000 killed out of 80,000 men in a few hours. That is a much higher death rate than any of our bloody Civil War battles. Such losses were not uncommon in ancient warfare.

The Taiping Rebellion of the middle 19th century against the Manchus was fought mostly with relatively primitive weapons. It is estimated that 50M people died.

Primitive weapons are ineffective when pitted against modern weapons. They can be highly efficient at slaughter when pitted against other primitive weapons or the unarmed. All you need is soldiers willing to keep killing.

And somebody to sharpen your blade every few hours.


26 posted on 07/18/2006 8:20:00 AM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: You Dirty Rats

Really? Well, this is the first I have heard of it.


27 posted on 07/18/2006 8:20:13 AM PDT by Miss Marple (Lord, please look after Mozart Lover's and Jemian's sons and keep them strong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: sima_yi

Perhapsyou should sue the Iroquois for reparations? ;)


28 posted on 07/18/2006 8:20:59 AM PDT by Killborn (Pres. Bush isn't Pres. Reagan. Then again, Pres. Regan isn't Pres. Washington. God bless them all.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Take the Aztec/Mayan/Incan civilizations for example. They were some of the most bloodthirsty known in history. They killed for the sheer activity of it ... something to do besides make weird calendars and build pyramids. In fact, the pyramids were sacrificial altars where the blood of their victims ran in rivulets down the stone sides!

But we're supposed to believe that they were bucolic, pastoral people with an advanced civilization utterly destroyed by the evil Spaniards, who then tortured them into Catholicism even as they plundered their palaces.

History in the last 30 years has been the study of revisionist claptrap, not fact.

29 posted on 07/18/2006 8:21:26 AM PDT by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
The large number of copper and bronze axes found in Late Neolithic and Bronze Age burials were held to be not battle axes but a form of money."

Liberals are such effing idiots.

30 posted on 07/18/2006 8:26:02 AM PDT by dead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

For any Freeper's interested, there was a quite prescient volume written on this subject qquite some time ago: "A History of Warfare", By John Keegan.

I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in the methods and motivations of ancient warfare. Without the political correctness.

It has the added bonus of turning Clauswitz on his head.

Just a suggesstion.
Wombat101


31 posted on 07/18/2006 8:26:39 AM PDT by Wombat101 (Islam: Turning everything it touches to Shi'ite since 632 AD...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: IronJack

You really can't talk about these civilizations as a group. The Maya and Aztecs had some contact and continuity, but they were as different as Chinese and Arabs in many ways.

The Incas were so isolated they weren't even aware of the civilizations of Mesoamerica to their north. They were also generally not as bloodthirsty, although they also practiced human sacrifice, if on a much smaller scale.

Historians today are generally agreed that the collapse of these civilizations was caused by the merging of the Old and New World disease ecosystems. The Spanish had the luck of walking into societies that were disintegrating anyway.

It is estimated that 90 to 95% of the population of the Americas died by 1600 as a result of Eurasian and African diseases.


32 posted on 07/18/2006 8:26:52 AM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
...he native will be a dignified man of peace in perfect harmony with his environment in whose tribal language there is not even a word for "war" or "killing" or "weapons of mass destruction."

How about a word for "mass extinction of large mammals"? The invading (across the Bering) prehistorics, aka "natives", exterminated about 80 percent of the species of large mammals on America's left coast. After the animal meat supply understandably dwindled human canabalism became the protein source of choice.

33 posted on 07/18/2006 8:26:55 AM PDT by Poincare
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Allan

bump


34 posted on 07/18/2006 8:27:02 AM PDT by Allan (*-O)):~{>)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

Steyn had better watch it because amongst the "respectable" conservatives there still is this superstition that the Left is moral.


35 posted on 07/18/2006 8:27:02 AM PDT by junta (It's Jihad stupid! It's the borders stupid! It's Political Correctness stupid!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

BTTT!


36 posted on 07/18/2006 8:28:09 AM PDT by aculeus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78

The origin of the State is twined with that of death-cults.

It could be argued that the State as we know it is the mere reification of blood-lust.


37 posted on 07/18/2006 8:29:34 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Genocide is the highest sacrament of socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
One swallow doesn't make a summer, of course...

I almost fell out of my chair when I read that. Leave it to Steyn...

38 posted on 07/18/2006 8:30:02 AM PDT by NCSteve
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: NCSteve
Leave it to Steyn... to gross us out, just in passing, no doubt while snickering in his silly little beard.
39 posted on 07/18/2006 8:31:10 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Whiskey for my men, hyperbolic rodomontade for my horses.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Restorer
My remarks dealt mostly with the Aztecs. I should probably have confined my characterizations to them.

But you make a good point. Overt violence and suppression of the natives by European explorers wasn't really the major cause of death among those peoples. They were exposed to diseases for which they had acquired no natural immunities, and they were decimated by the resultant plagues.

In the case of the Aztecs, their culture had stagnated anyway to a large extent. They re-energized their warrior culture by arranging mock raids on nearby tribes to "capture" their young men and sacrifice them.

And people thought Roman decadence was bloody ...

40 posted on 07/18/2006 8:31:55 AM PDT by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
Great article!

Please add me to your Steyn ping list. Thanks.

41 posted on 07/18/2006 8:35:25 AM PDT by RightField (The older you get ... the older "old" is !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: IronJack
They killed for the sheer activity of it ...

The Aztecs ate the "sacrifice" victims because they needed protein. Antropologist Marvin Harris writes of this. Aztlan.

Columbus decided to keep what he found secret, writing a secret letter to the Pope. The Pope endeavored his church to save the savages' souls.

42 posted on 07/18/2006 8:35:34 AM PDT by Poincare
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Pokey78
A little pre-history:

Genesis 6:13: "So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth."

(and Steyn is about the only reason I bother listening to Hugh Hewitt).

43 posted on 07/18/2006 8:37:20 AM PDT by mikeus_maximus (Hey George! Read OUR lips: Build the wall!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Stallone

Hey!,...who's face is that I see on that birdcage liner?

Is that the,......HILDABEAST?!!! Good place for it.

Thank you, nice Photoshop. From your computer to the 2008 election.

What a loathsome creature she is.


44 posted on 07/18/2006 8:40:28 AM PDT by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now courtesy of Islam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Restorer

> The Romans, at Cannae, lost 50,000 killed out of 80,000 men in a few hours. That is a much higher death rate than any of our bloody Civil War battles. Such losses were not uncommon in ancient warfare.


There's actually a good reason for that: it was face-to-face. When Side A met Side B in combat, they'd hack away at each other until Side A decided to call it quits. But Side B would be *right* *there*, and would hack 'em to bits when Side A turned to run. You simply couldn't escape the victor.

Then long range weapons became the order of the day. When Side A decided they were losing, they could turn and run and dodge behind trees and such much easier, since the enemy was now at some distance.


45 posted on 07/18/2006 8:41:20 AM PDT by orionblamblam (I'm interested in science and preventing its corruption, so here I am.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Poincare

The mass extinction of large animals in North America being caused by the Clovis hunters is no longer dogma. It is highly debated.


46 posted on 07/18/2006 8:42:08 AM PDT by Restorer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: garyhope

LEFTARDS ATTACK!


47 posted on 07/18/2006 8:42:50 AM PDT by Stallone (Mainstream Media is dead. I helped kill it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: RightField

Done.


48 posted on 07/18/2006 8:44:44 AM PDT by Pokey78 (‘FREE [INSERT YOUR FETID TOTALITARIAN BASKET-CASE HERE]’)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Miss Marple; You Dirty Rats
Geneva was not part of Switzerland until 1815.
49 posted on 07/18/2006 8:45:41 AM PDT by Cheburashka (World's only Spatula City certified spatula repair and maintenance specialist!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: p. henry
When Einstein heard of Fermi's chain reaction, he said "now everything has changed except man himself." While civilization may have reduced our tendency to commit mayhem, it has also vastly increased our capacity to pursue it if we choose to do so.

Actually IMO nuclear weapons have done more to promote peace than anything in human history (including Christianity).

Look at history. Until the advent of nuclear weapons what two rivals such as The US and USSR would have remained at peace with each other for the time encompassing the end of WWII and the collapse of the USSR.

Mutual Assured Destruction worked and continues to work.

50 posted on 07/18/2006 8:47:21 AM PDT by Pontiac (All are worthy of freedom, none are incapable.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-209 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson