October 29, 2001
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It has been some time since I sat down to write. Primarily because I am
more or less ignored by the U.S. media, and have to depend mainly on
foreign media for publication.
I have been sitting back observing the situation presently at hand here -- I believe that I am to address it as a state of war if I am to be politically correct. I don't expect this text to be overwhelmingly approved, but then I am not known for writing articles that are in keeping with the mainstream of opinion either. I don't expect widespread media publication, though know that a select few will have the courage to print this. As with anything I write, this article reflects opinions of my own; my intentions are to give those who chose to read it something to think about.
Think About It
Do I know what biochemical warfare is? Yes, it was smallpox in a blanket. Do I know of massacres? Yes, Sand Creek and Wounded Knee come quickly to mind. And of terrorist attacks, how about the many villages burned in the night and the wanton slaughter of the men, women and children who attempted to escape the flames? Before anyone attempts to remind me that I am speaking of the past, let me continue, as admittedly these things all took place over a hundred years ago on this continent at the hands of the U.S. Military.
Perhaps I should speak of more recent times, and point to the men, women and children bombed out of their apartment and hospital beds throughout Yugoslavia in 1999. That merits terrorism in my mind. And maybe the depleted uranium that contaminates the soil throughout the Balkans as a result of the bombings will suffice for my knowledge of biochemical warfare. I am not exactly sure how to classify the more than 500,000 children, not to mention innocent adults, who have perished from lack of food, clean water, or medicine in Iraq thanks to U.S. demanded sanctions.
I realize that many of these issues are not made available through U.S. media, and would be dismissed as mere propaganda if I were to relate my sources as that of foreign media. However, this has not been the case. My information comes from having personally met with some of the people who lived through this, and are suffering its results yet today. The pain is in their eyes as they tell of these atrocities, so I know them to be true. Just as I have also spoken with some who actually witnessed the retaliatory strikes at the WTC, and that same look was in their eyes as well. Thanks to the blanket coverage of that and the strike against the Pentagon, I was able to see a bit of what the WTC witnesses had experienced. Still, it was the look in their eyes that told more than could any media footage.
Retaliatory strikes? Yes, precisely. And without the massive loss of children's lives I might add. A message to the American people, not only to wake them up to what is happening throughout the world thanks to Corporate America's greed and desire to control, and also to let the people feel what it is like to have the loss of innocent lives resulting from it. Of course, those lives were sufficiently downgraded to collateral loss with the Administration's declaration of war. That is how the innocents are labeled in other lands, collateral damages of war. I am sure most of us have been made well aware of that through the slanted media coverage we have received throughout the years.
That does not mean that I do not have sympathy for some of the victims at the WTC. After all, there were establishments such as bookstores and other non-corporate ventures there. I would be the first to say that those poor souls were indeed innocent victims. However, my feelings are not as strong when regarding those who were part of the American Corporate structure, regardless of how naive they may have been to the destructive entity that was their employer. In their case, it was almost like some of what has been done throughout the world by the Corporate structure having come back around. As for victims at the Pentagon, civilian or not, they were a part of the U.S. military machine, and military targets are legitimate targets. Keeping in mind that this has been declared war, I recall the same being said about the four-hundred plus civilians huddled in that Iraqi bunker... A justified strike because it was a military target.
Today I look around me and see all sorts of flag waving. Flags hang where I have never seen them before, on cars, porch fronts, from buildings and even on different matters of clothing. I recognize the right of each individual to express their feelings or belief, though I find it a bit amusing that when such actions are carried out by those in foreign lands, especially when against the U.S., they are looked upon with disdain. In those countries I take note that it all ends in a day or two, and is not prolonged for better than a month as has been the case here. But then with the media blitz that Americans receive daily I suppose it is little wonder that it continues. When these actions are carried out in foreign lands, it generally has to do with intrusions by the U.S. Sometimes, as is the case here, it has to do with lost or threatened lives. Regardless of where it is taking place, it is the same response as that demonstrated by Americans today. Actions carried out by individuals, expressing their feelings. Individuals, no more or less human than Americans.
I know of no other people who can hate as well as Americans can. They have a long history of it, their hatred against the American Indian people, the Japanese-Americans in WWII, most ethnic minorities, and right up to any turban-wearing individuals today. It is probably in their best interest that those assaulting the U.S. possibly don't feel this way, otherwise everyone displaying an American Flag would become a target. And without doubt, those who would carry out such assaults are already here. This continent has had some of the worst immigration policies dating all the way back to 1492. The increased so-called security measures being instituted throughout the country are only further restrictions on personal freedom, but the scared masses do not seem to be aware of it.
Many Americans today just can't understand why anyone would wish to bring harm upon this land or its people. I think this is mainly because we have all been told since childhood that this Nation is a benefactor to the world. It is not human nature to hate that which benefits you, so the actions of so many in protest of the U.S. and its policies should say something in itself. If so many people in so many nations have hatred towards the U.S. there must be a reason.
The U.S. is the biggest supplier of armaments in the world, and presently the major dictator of global policy everywhere. A self-appointed champion of human rights, yet foremost in the condemnation of individual choice in lifestyles, suppressor of religions, not to mention the greatest at denying the needs of its poor and homeless within its own bounds. That is not to say that the American government does not provide certain needs abroad, to poor countries. However, the Corporate strings are always attached. And when Corporate demands are not satisfied, the U.S. military is called in to assure them.
"I know your race. It is made up of sheep. It is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong; but no matter, the crowd follows it. The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves. Think of it!" Those are the words of Mark Twain from his work, The Mysterious Stranger, published in 1916, and how fitting those words are today. I have often referred to the American people as "sheepeople," and coming across this statement explained my reasoning for it better than I ever could myself. And now there is a concern about Anthrax? Is there an underlying message here?
It is most unfortunate that Americans are brought up to accept what they are told, and even more unfortunate that most do not attempt to look into issues more deeply. Sadly, too many are just content to graze on the abundance that is placed before them; no other country has such an abundant supply of consumer goods available to its citizens. I think that one of the things that troubles me is that here, in the greatest country in the world, rather than its resources being directed towards the good of mankind, they continue to feed the greed machine, at a cost to those who would have no part of it. Now, more than ever, it is time for Americans to start looking into matters. Because for the first time in the history of the Nation retribution has found its way to U.S. soil.
In the early days of the present situation, the Administration made a statement that did not set well with me. It went something like, you are either with us, or against us. In other words, I, like everyone else, had the option of either approving of the military assaults or finding themselves aligned against. I don't have a problem with selectively removing those who are labeled terrorists, but know very well that when bombs and rockets are unleashed, innocents are killed. Instances of this have already been admitted; how many have not? I am most uncomfortable as well with the secrecy in which this so-called war is being carried out, and feel that it is everyone's right to know what is being done considering that this time future reprisals are certain to be carried out here.
I can't go along with it. So I suppose that leaves me with no option but to be against. I would much rather be labeled expatriate than to be considered favorable to such barbarous endeavors.
America is the strongest Nation in the world today -- why not make it one that can go down in history as the one that brought about that goodness instead of being the one that in many ways continues to be the cause? I have no use for extremists, be they Muslim or Christian, but I do feel that individuals, especially children, have the right to live peacefully in the world Creator made for them. I am sickened at the thought of any of them being extinguished by joy stick jockeys thousands of feet above, just as I am at the thought that they might become victims to biological or other assaults. I am disheartened that as Malcolm X once said, it appears that the chicken has come home to roost, but sense that it has. I have met with people who have endured terrorism and aggression for over a decade, and have since come to see it as a way of life and have become hardened to it. I don't want to see the day that Americans become the same way, as they have with the senseless killings that already fill the news. My idea of living is not having the opportunity to see part of the neighborhood and the people in it turned to cinders before my own eyes. Call me a Dreamer, or just an old fool, but I believe that global harmony can be a reality if we are willing to bring about the change. If we stop for a minute, forget about ourselves and the abundance that surrounds us and think of those less fortunate throughout the world, demand that our leadership listen to us instead of the Corporate machine that dictates them, then it can happen. Destroying the lives of others is not the answer, and can only bring about further reprisals against the people of this Land.
Think About It.
Charles Buffalo, is an American Indian, a member of the proud Cherokee Nation. He has been an activist for Indian American rights for well over a decade. Buffalo maintains his own Web site that focuses on Indian activism.
Please, DO NOT steal, scavenge or repost this work without the expressed written authorization of Swans, which will seek permission from the author. This material is copyrighted, © Charles Buffalo 2001. All rights reserved.
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