First, Chris, in answer to my answer, writes:
You bring up Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears. However, my husband is studying for a military exam, and the honors that his company won during the “Indian Wars” is considered part of their venerable history… And then I think of Hitler and Genghis Khan and I wonder, were they genuinely trying to do good by their own?
Which is why I picked him over the more obvious choice such as Hitler. History, at least the history most of us have read, has already assigned Hitler with the “evil” mantle; he doesn’t need me. Whereas Jackson’s place in history is a more of mixed bag. I have an ex who could talk your ear off (probably not literally, though I’m not sure) on the topic. I would submit that GWB’s war in Iraq may have been – OK, probably was, in his mind – initiated by “trying to do good” for his own people; didn’t make it right. I daresay most ethnic cleansing are done to “protect” one group from “the other” (see: Rwanda or Yugoslavia in the 1990s for recent examples). Whether the “good intentions” of mass murder is relevant inevitably will be written by the historians.
Maybe a better question is “What do you consider evil?” What is good and what is evil, really?
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