Yesterday, on Wallbuilders Live, David Barton addressed just war theory and conduct toward nations who don’t follow conventions of war. In doing so, he said:
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.”
King’s Philip’s War was about much more than Barton describes (e.g., one reason involved English encroachment on Indian lands in violation of prior agreements) and the English did their share of torturing as well. In fact, they burned entire villages to the ground and often went beyond the behavior of the Indians. Barton’s narrative is woefully inaccurate.
I wonder how this justification of American atrocities will sit with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Barton is slated to speak at the Kansas prayer breakfast next week (March 27). Brownback was one of the champions of the Native American Apology Resolution that passed through Congress and was signed by President Obama. According to Barton, no such apology is needed; the colonists were justified in destroying Indian tribes “all over.”
(Hat tip to RWW where you can also hear relevant portions of the audio)
UPDATE: Indian Country Today has a feature on Barton’s ideas about wiping out the Indians.
More on King Philip’s War.