Was all this bloodshed and deceit – from Columbus to Cortes, Pizarro the Puritans – a necessity for the human race to progress from savagery to civilization? Was Morison right in burying the story of genocide inside a more important story of human progress? Perhaps a persuasive argument can be made – as it was made by Stalin when he killed pesants for industrial progress in the Soviet Union, as it was made by Churchill explaining the bombings of Dresden and Hamburg, and Truman explaining Hiroshima. But how can the judgement be made if the benefits and losses cannot be balanced because the losses are either unmentioned or mentioned quickly?
– Howard Zinn