Today is Thanksgiving Day in honor of the Wampanoag tribe having kept the pilgrims alive in order to wield them as an ally against other, marauding tribes since their population had been so depleted by mortality from European diseases brought by previous settlers they were vulnerable to being overrun.

Even though they (the natives) quickly realized their bows and arrows were much more accurate than the pilgrims' guns, the other tribes backed off for fear of losing the trading rights with the Pilgrims.

Squanto (Tisquantum), long hailed as the benevolent angel of that tribe, actually cultivated the pilgrims in hope they would help him, shortly after that Thanksgiving dinner, to overthrow Massasoit and make him tribal chief.

Why would it work any differently here than it had for many hundreds of years in Europe?

Squanto was referred to by John Tierney, in a NY Times column "Tisquantum was to the Pilgrims what Ahmad Chalabi was to the Americans in Iraq," Mann said. "At a time when the Pilgrims were really clueless, he introduced them to his society and provided valuable information, but he definitely had his own agenda."

--this column was prompted by reading the John Tierney column referred to above, but it's much more complete and extensive than the small portion I've excerpted here.


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