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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remembering the Vendee.

Someone has to--because France won't.

The intruders, for their part, thought they were bringing progress, enlightenment, improvement, release from superstition, liberty, for heavens sake. Equality, fraternity. They would drag these benighted savages into modern times, even if it cost them some battles. But it would be easy; these savages, these half-humans, would soon be a dying race.

But it wasn't easy. The people resisted fiercely. Sometimes they won. Sometimes the intruders grew very worried indeed. But soon, the lack of arms, the superior technology, and also, it must be said, the independence of the people who found it difficult to band together in total unity, saw reason win over their courage and faith. Theirs was not a warlike culture; they longed for their former peace. It was then, in the defeat of the people, that the most terrible revelation came to the spirit of the intruders. This dying race of savages could be helped on its way. And so the genocide began.

The atrocities multiplied, the exterminations systematic and initiated from the very top, and carried out with glee at the bottom. At least 300,000 people were massacred during that time, and those of the intruders who refused to do the job were either shot or discredited utterly. But still the people resisted. Still there were those who hid in the forests and ambushed, who fought as bravely as lions but were butchered like pigs when they were caught. No quarter was given; all the leaders were shot, beheaded, or hanged. Many were not even allowed to rest in peace; the body of the last leader was cut up and distributed to scientists; his head was pickled in a jar, the brain examined to see where the seed of rebellion lay in the mind of a savage.

That was two hundred years ago; but at the recent bicentenary celebrated by the intruders, not a mention was made of the dead. Not a mention was made of the genocide.

The revolt that started on Bastille Day went down a path far different from Lexington, with hideous consequences that have to this day not been fully acknowledged.

Thanks to Hilary for the reminder.

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Be reasonably civil. Ire alloyed with reason is fine. But slagging the host gets you the banhammer.