Where else, but from the industrialized world, did the suicide hijackers learn that huge explosions and death above a city skyline are a peculiar and effective form of communication? They have mastered the language. They understand that the use of disproportionate violence against innocents is a way to make a statement.
We leave the same calling cards.
– Chris Hedges, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
The name of the person I met has been changed to Hawkeye, the protagonist from The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper.
Recently I met a Native American at a small café on Sanur Beach who asked me if I was Spanish.
“Indian, with a Spanish grandmother,” I replied.
“And I am Cherokee, another kind of Indian,” he said.
We both laughed.
“So what are you doing here, my friend?” I asked.
“Hawkeye, they call me. I’m on the last leg of a trip around Southeast Asia and will be returning to New York tomorrow.”
I prodded him to share his views and opinions as a Native American on America and the upcoming presidential election, and he graciously obliged.
The ensuing discussion between us has been written in first person narrative for the sake of brevity and coherency.
We were colonized by people from Europe and later by the slaves they brought with them. They took away our lands and put us in reservations like animals.
Our victory at the Battle of the Little Big Horn and the massacre of Native Indians at Wounded Knee by the US Cavalry confirms what Plato said – Only the dead see the end of war.
The foundation of this great nation has been based on war. War with us. War between themselves. War with other nations. And if there is no battle to join, they often create or instigate one.
In the 90s, a government think tank came out with a document on the New World Order. Interestingly it states that Americans wouldn’t accept a war with another nation barring a Pearl Harbor-type event. Ironically, this is what happened on 9/11.
I admit I voted for Bush. I also bought the propaganda and joined in the chorus and frenzied chants – Let’s get the f…ers. The “enemy” was not a regular army, so invading a country like Iraq made sense. Americans could see the “enemy” and “feel good” about the horrors inflicted on them. Revenge had to be seen to be done even if the facts were manufactured or fudged. Ignorance of an ancient culture and its religion were self-evident when Bush declared a “crusade.”
I quote Chris Hedges: “Once we sign on for war’s crusade, once we see ourselves on the side of angels, once we embrace a theological or ideological belief system that defines itself as the embodiment of goodness and light, it is a matter of how we will carry out murder.”
We have created a bloody mess in Iraq. And despite of our best efforts at using our soldiers as cannon fodder, Afghanistan continues to roll out more Taliban and large quantities of heroin.
Let us not forget that we are the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war and that, too, on civilians; we have liberally sprayed Agent Orange (a deadly toxic defoliant) on Vietnamese and committed atrocities on them and elsewhere under the delusion of promoting, preserving or even enforcing democracy.
So naturally with these “war games” follows “collateral damage”; suffocating and intrusive homeland security – the Patriot Act, etc.; most of which are invasions into our civil rights enshrined in our constitution. The government has gone one step further by the signing, in May 2007, of a presidential directive that gives the President dictatorial powers in the event of a national emergency. The document itself is ambiguous and leaves room for misinterpretation.
I fondly remember in the 60s Abbie Hoffman, one of the Chicago Seven, who proposed a freedom that bordered on anarchy. He is also the author of Steal this Book and Woodstock Nation. Abbie believes that people have to take care of each other, their families, relatives and friends. That the government is not God and its role should be limited in society.
Today the growing involvement of the state in the private lives of its citizens is a disturbing trend. Read the book The Rise of the Fourth Reich by Jim Marrs, and you will understand what I am talking about; the purpose of laws being enacted is to encroach upon civil liberties on the pretext that there exists an enemy within. Maybe this is another planned move towards a form of benign totalitarianism.
And so amid the sound of gunfire and “the smell of napalm in the morning,” our hysterical media is taking sides in the upcoming presidential election.
On one side we have Obama, the much-touted first black presidential hopeful whose mentor is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s former national security advisor, who holds the distinction of setting up the Afghan Mujaheddin Network that later formed the Taliban, which shelters Al Qaeda. And on the other side, John McCain, a former guest at the Hanoi Hilton that offered room service torture. He does not qualify as president for peace because he has been quite candid about the duration of the Iraq war, affirming he would support it even if it carried on for 100 years.
Obama, in my opinion, appears to be well groomed by powerbrokers seeking to create a JFK illusion or model for the people. Maybe Obama will play along like JFK did until he is elected, then change course. Incidentally, when JFK became president, he appointed his brother Bobby to take on organized crime. He also made noises about doing away with the Federal Reserve. His life was snuffed out, and so was Bobby’s.
We are aware that the path to the next presidential election is booby-trapped with disinformation. But there is no other option for Americans because the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King are dead and buried along with what they represented. We have to make it work with and through Obama.
However, in our zeal to elect Obama, we must not overlook the questions raised by ordinary citizens. Obama must answer them.
1.What have you done for the American people at home, so far? (And we are not talking about high-voltage combat zones across the world).
2.Who are the people who stand behind you – the kingmakers?
3.Will you repeal the Patriot Act and other laws that infringe on civil liberties?
4.Will you stop creating and conducting wars and begin looking after your own people’s welfare: healthcare, housing, jobs?
The bitter pill that all Americans have to swallow every day is that their nation is financially and, more importantly, spiritually bankrupt by cultural arrogance, burgeoning corrupt business practices and a political system fast losing its ethics and integrity.
Probably the time is nigh when Native Americans must rise up to help the descendants of the colonizers to rediscover the meaning of peace, love, truth, honor, moral values which they seem to have misplaced. And when this happens, the long-awaited non-violent Second American Revolution will come, bringing with it an avalanche of peace and prosperity for all who reside in America.
Hopefully Obama will be the catalyst.
Our earnest prayer is that we live to see this day.
The evening ended with two Indians departing for home – one to a nation bleeding from war and on the threshold of redemption and the other to the serenity of Balinese religiosity.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om