Opinion: The Indian wars and Homeland Security
"As I was riding a rental scooter down the not so great White Way at our County fair in January, what did I see but a group of four or five American Indian warriors standing on the shore of a bay brandishing their weapons, spears and bows and arrows, at three Spanish Galleons and on the t- shirt under this scene were the words Homeland Security. That set me to thinking about Homeland Security and my belief that we, as did the Indians, are deluding ourselves if we believe that the threat of the use our primitive weapons are going to deter anyone with more sophisticated weaponry, larger numbers, or greater determination from fighting and winning a war of attrition.

There were perhaps 30 million people in the Caribbean Islands and Mexico in 1492 and another 50 million in what was to become the United States. The American Indians Columbus first encountered in 1492 were the Taino [Arawaks} numbering between 250 thousand and one million in Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, Cuba and Haiti. It is estimated that about only 500 survived by 1550 and that they were extinct by 1650. Europeans brought diseases such as chicken pox, measles and small pox against which American Indians had no immunity. The result was that up to 80 percent of some American Indians may have died due to European diseases.

For five centuries since Columbus, the indigenous people of this hemisphere have been called Indians because Columbus was lost, he did not land in India. They are many different peoples with many different nations and many different languages. Today, the U.S. government recognizes more than 370 tribes or separate Indian peoples. American Indian wars or conflicts were struggles between the indigenous people and white people of several nationalities for the rich lands that became the United States."

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