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Terrorism:  "Good" vs. "Evil"
(9/16/01)


Another response to Terrorism:  "Good" vs. "Evil" and Stereotype of the Month entry:

From the Grand Forks Herald, 9/16/01:

Viewpoint

Indians should lead the way to war
By David Yeagley

OKLAHOMA CITY On Sept. 11, America was attacked on our homeland! Our most prestigious business center, the New York City World Trade Center, and the center of our military command in Washington, D.C., the Pentagon, were bombed. Thousands of people were killed.

Our own commercial airplanes were used as missiles, crashing into our cities.

It was approximately 9 a.m. Six hours later, President Bush responded on national television. Among other assurances, he said, "Make no mistake: the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for this cowardly act."

What an utterly disappointing and vacuous remark!

This is not what the people of America want to hear.

We want to hear "War!"

We've heard "bring the perpetrators to justice" before, too many times. This isn't a legal matter, to be settled in our wonderful American courts with litigation protracted over the next decade.

We don't want empty promises.

We want war.

We've been attacked! Thousands of our innocent American people have been slaughtered!

President Bush could not bring himself to utter the word "war." It would have been politically incorrect. It would have offended the Left, the feminists, the minorities and Amnesty International.

Political correctness has so emasculated our language that our political rhetoric no longer can accommodate the grammar of war and the resolve necessary for victory.

Our leaders would rather see us slaughtered. That is the way of the Left. Let others lie down and take the hit, while the Left preserves its theoretical righteousness in words. This is what "the enemy within" has accomplished. America is totally and unnecessarily vulnerable.

I've also been arguing since February that the warrior images of American Indian mascots and monikers should remain forever in American schools and universities. If there was ever a time the spirit of a warrior is needed, it's now!

The government leaders have forgotten what a warrior is and what a warrior does. Secretary of State Colon Powell said, the morning of the attack, "A terrible, terrible tragedy has befallen my nation."

The second in command of our American national military forces couldn't muster a stronger response. Instead of declaring war on the enemy, he lamented the attack. He was weak.

Again, this is not what the American people want to hear. We've heard useless condemnations too many times before. We're tired of words, hackneyed adjectives and effeminate dramatizations.

We want action. Any country or person harboring a known terrorist must face annihilation. Any person or country purposely contributing to terrorism must face extinction. It's simple. This is what American people need to hear.

Well, let them hear it from a Comanche Indian.

I declare war. Are there any warriors left in Washington? If so, let them show themselves now. If not, let those who've been in power for the last 20 years forever be remembered as those without moral character, without resolve and without respect.

I here and now call upon all Indians, all "less than a million" of us, to put our hearts into the warrior spirit. Our country needs it. Don't focus now on secondary issues such as the negative side of the mascot controversy. Indeed, make the most of its positive potential.

We need warriors! Not complainers.

Let all Indians form the first line of American patriots.

My red brothers, this could be our greatest moment since we saved the Pilgrims. This is our chance to reclaim our original pre-eminence in the American social psyche. We were their host, guide and savior in the beginning. Let's do it again.

Yeagley is a writer and a former instructor at Oklahoma State University.

Rob's comment
Victims of genocide who advocate genocide against others...what a concept. Yeagley would've had a tough time thinking straight in the late 1800s, when "warriors" like Custer hunted down "terrorists" like Crazy Horse.

Yeagley doesn't have the number of Native Americans correct. The 2000 Census estimates the number at 2.1 to 4.1 million. And he called Colin Powell "Colon," which may have been a Freudian slip. These mistakes suggest Yeagley's intellectual capacity.

When he says "let those who've been in power for the last 20 years forever be remembered as those without moral character," how does he think we remember them now? I have no doubt the moral character of Reagan, Bush Sr., Gingrich, Bush Jr., Hyde, Helms, Lott, DeLay, Barr, et al. is sorely lacking. In Dubya's case we know for sure, since he's been arrested three times (so far).

I'm glad Yeagley acknowledges the righteousness of the liberals' position, although he calls it "theoretical." Better theoretical righteousness than proven stupidity.

As for the rest of Yeagley's commentary, it's virtually a self-parody of the warrior mentality. Take it for what it's worth, which isn't much.

*****

John Peloquin's comment on Yeagley's column

Dear Robert,

The fact that some and maybe even the majority of Native people are in favor of war is not at all surprising, since they are Americans and have been like all of us wounded by the attack. I do agree that it appears that some have bought into the Native Warrior stereotype, and this person is an example of someone who has bought into that. There is no question that the training many Native people gave their warriors was probably much like that given to our present day special forces and therefore vastly superior and more demanding (and concomitantly consuming of time and resources) than that received by the European soldier at the time. This, coupled with the fact that the Natives were defending their home lands and wives and children, made them more effective, man for man, than the typical euro soldier who was fighting for a lot less....However I would posit that warfare was also considerably less important to Native people, by and large, than it was for Europeans. For example, only one clan of my Menominee ancestors were specialized as warriors and presumably similar was the case for other Native people (I don't know much about the Chippewa/Ojibwa since my father and my relatives on that side didn't talk about it). This should give a clue as to the relative importance of war to Native peoples versus the Euro stereotype of Indian people.

Therefore, the Warrior stereotype applies to all Indians as "(in)accurately" as the "SEAL" or "SAS" or "Commando" stereotype applies to all Europeans. All the Native had was "special forces". I suppose if you want to be proud of something your ancestors did, the prowess of your warriors is something, but it is very close to buying into a damaging stereotype.

As for my Menominee ancestors, I admire them for many things not the least because they were clever enough (thanks to the statesman Oshkosh among others) to be able to retain on some of their ancestral homelands, WITHOUT having to fight in the face of violence from the Federal government when all the other Indians were removed to someplace else.

Related links
Yeagley the Indian apple
Indians as warriors
Team names and mascots
Savage Indians


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