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

by Dan Quinn

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.

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