David Barton on 'Just War' Theory: 'We Had to Destroy Indian Tribes' to Civilize Them

Our friends at Right Wing Watch caught a fascinating David Barton radio lecture today on “just war” theory — the concept of when war is morally justified. The far right’s favorite pseudo-historian apparently used the wars against Native Americans as an example. Read the full post from Right Wing Watch (including an audio clip) here, but here are a couple of excerpts:

“A lot of it is based on what you have to do to secure justice and to secure the protection of life and liberties for your citizens and you do what you have to do at times, but you play on the rules sometimes that the other guys have set up. And if they’re not going to negotiate with things like the Geneva treaty or other rules of civilization, you still have to secure the life and the property and the protection of your citizens.”

“What happened was the Indian leaders said ‘they’re trying to change our culture’ and so they declared war on all the white guys and went after the white guys and that was King Philip’s War.  It was really trying to be civilized on one side and end torture and the Indians were threatened by the ending of torture and so we had to go in and we had to destroy Indian tribes all over until they said ‘oh, got the point, you’re doing to us what we’re doing to them, okay, we’ll sign a treaty.'”

Read the full post to see how Barton justifies wiping out the buffalo on the open plains.

12 thoughts on “David Barton on 'Just War' Theory: 'We Had to Destroy Indian Tribes' to Civilize Them

  1. Not only is Barton uneducated and totally fabricates “history” he’s the most unarticulated boob I’ve ever heard! Even Glenn Beck is at least moderately coherent, not that he makes any sense, but at least one can follow his sentence structure.

  2. Ye Gods, that’s the most idiotic thing I’ve read all week. What a total logic fail. Could Barton be any dumber? Wait, don’t answer that..

  3. David’s faulty logic aside, the fact that he wouldn’t even talk about the historicity of the white Anglo saxon’s inability to keep their treaties is a stain on David’s whole premise. The power structure at the time, after putting treaty to paper refused to honor the terms of the treaty.

    Despite being presented with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, David Barton refuses to acknowledge the truth and continues to promulgate a false, revisionist history that plays well with the red meat, hyper Christian Republican Party member that has to have a false sense of superiority shoved down their throats. David amply supplies that and then some with his now debunked methods of self TEF

    1. You totally misunderstand the basic premise of ‘Roman’ treaties (and the US are obviously modelled after classical Rome): They only bind the other side and yield the pretense for war when that other side impertinently insists that both side have to adhere.
      Not to forget the other central dogma: Rome’s empire (like the American) was acquired 100% in self-defense. To claim otherwise is a justified casus belli.

  4. Michele Bachmann, supposed follower of Jesus, has been caught in yet another raft of outright lies. The U.S. House of Representatives is about to pass its 40th bill aimed at repealing Obamacare so those friends Jesus called the “least of these” will have all hope and chance of health care stripped from them. Of course, it has no chance of passing because of the U.S. Senate and President Obama’s veto power. However, it is time to pay back election debts, and this nonsense is being launched to light a fire under the backwoods rhubarbs so the last dollar left to buy macaroni and cheese will instead be sent to the Republican Party.

    I’ll say it here. The Republican Party hates ordinary working people and sees their mere existence as a defilement of the American landscape—but they are not beneath taking their cheap labor, money, and votes. Barton continues to spew his nonsense.

    So, what does all this mean in Christian terms? It means what the Apostle Paul said it means. It is a sign and signal of the passing away of evil in this world to be replaced by things that are good and right and true. When a 120 year-old warped sect of the Christian faith decides in desperation that the only thing with the power left to save it is a mound of lies, a raft of ignorance, and turning away from simple facts, one cannot help but consider that Heaven itself has abandoned it in disgust. The Apostle Paul said it, but Neil Young said it better:


  5. As far as torture – Europe developed it as a fine art, and the fact is, they were torturing Native Americans for not obeying the settler’s laws (like regarding attending church). For many tribes, torture was a way to prove one’s strength and “manhood” and in a way an honor. Scalping? Known on this continent in some areas before the whites arrived, but as a way of showing disgust and despise towards an enemy. Some groups learned it from the whites (it was practiced long by them before they came). Another little fact – statistically, violence was far higher in Europe and Asia compared to this continent, based on an overview of the evidence of violence on skeletons.

    Barton doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and he’s prattling the same lies I learned as a kid.