Just to comment on your Native American remark... the statement you made about "tribal exposure to those diseases was intentional and accomplished by means of giving blankets and other such things that had been in contact with people who had those diseases" was probably not a common practice, but it was at least invoked on one occasion (http://www.thefurtrapper.com/indian_smallpox.htm
- halfway down the page, see "Fort Pitt"). This was a true and documented event. Remember, human beings can be quite cruel and deceptive when they've got an agenda.
What has to be remembered is that all it takes to start an epidemic, or even a pandemic, is to infect one person-- so this deliberate handing-out of contaminated blankets means that there was willful desire to infect and decimate an entire population. Everything starts small. How far did those infections spread? No one can say for sure, as infections were occurring all through Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Canada and the U.S. because of contact with sick individuals that Native Americans came into contact with. But it was a wrong act that caused deaths and is therefore one that should not be forgotten, glossed over or downplayed ("well, it was only ONE time in recorded history..."). Because that is devaluing even the one life that such maliciousness took from this planet."He who saves one life... is as if he saves an entire universe. He who destroys a life... is as if he destroys an entire universe."
(http://www.aish.com/sem/wp/Part_8_The_J ... ctive.html
There was no need for early Americans to have a conscience about such cruelty, either. After all, the Indians were not people-- they were heathens and animals. They were "the Indian problem," one best dealt with by shooting them on sight. "This statement, 'No state can achieve proper culture, civilization, and progress ... as long as Indians are permitted to remain,' although articulated by U.S. President Martin Van Buren in 1837, lays bare the predominate White supremacist genocidal mentality that the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas have had to contend with since Columbus landed in 1492."