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Trails of Tears

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Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Senate’s 1831 ratification of a treaty between the US and the Choctaw nation, which had agreed the previous fall to give up 11 million acres of land in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. This was the first of the removal treaties that also deported the Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw and Cherokee from their historic lands. All this, of course, happened long before Jack Abramoff fucked the Choctaw out of nearly $8 million.

As rotten fate would have it, today is the anniversary of the 1944 removal of hundreds of thousands of Chechen and Ingush people to Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan. Otto Pohl explains:

The initial round up of the Chechens and Ingush involved considerable violence on the part of the Soviet security forces. They arrested over 2,000 people and confiscated over 20,000 firearms. More notably they perpetrated a number of massacres during the operation. The most notorious of these occurred at Khaibakh. Here the NKVD herded over 200 Chechens into barns and other buildings and then set them on fire. This atrocity has become a particularly important symbol in the long litany of Chechen suffering.

It really doesn’t get any better from there.

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